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HIS American edition of Aus der niederland- 

ischen Kunst, which is to appear simultaneously 

JL in Germany (Bruno Cassirer, Berlin), contains 
two articles that are not included in the German edition : 
the one on Go vert and Raphel Camphuysen, which was 
first published in Art in America, and the hitherto 
unpublished list of the Rembrandts in American collec- 

Several of the other articles were first published in 
German, French, or English periodicals: the one on 
Quentin Metsys in Les Anciens Arts de Flandres, Rem- 
brandt at the Latin School in the Jahrbuch der koniglich- 
preussischen Kunstsammlungen, Rembrandt's Blinding 
of Samson in the Burlington Magazine, and Rembrandt's 
Representations of Susanna, part of the article on van 
Dyck, and the one on Rubens in the Zeitschrift fur 
bildende Kunst. 

The lists of the paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, and 
van Dyck in American collections are possibly not com- 
plete. Although most of the works of these artists 
that have come from Europe during the last twenty 
years have been traced to public or private collections, 


author's preface 

there may be some in private hands that are still un- 
known to me. 

I feel it to be a piece of good fortune that a book 
written in a foreign language should be presented to 
the public in a translation which not only does full 
justice to the author's meaning but has a charm of its 
own, and I beg to express to Mrs. Schuyler Van Rens- 
selaer my most grateful appreciation. 


Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
New York, 

June, 1914. 


IT should be explained, I think, that as, at the out- 
break of the war, Mr. Valentiner remained in Ger- 
many to do his part for his country as a volunteer, 
he has seen none of the pages of this book in type. 
Nor has he seen in their present form any of the il- 
lustrations, which, owing to the different size of the 
American volume, have necessarily been made anew. 
Before he left New York, however, he read in the manu- 
script almost the whole of the translation, and sanc- 
tioned the few changes which would be found were it 
compared with the original. 

It was not possible to translate more literally the 
German title of the book, Aus der niederlandischen 
Kunst. In English " the Netherlands " is the true name 
of the kingdom to which, colloquially, we give the name 
of its chief provinces, Holland. "The Low Countries" 
is the only English term that covers the Flemish as well 
as the Dutch provinces, Belgium as well as the Nether- 
lands. This distinction has, of course, been respected 
in the text as well as in the title of the book. 

The names of many Dutch and Flemish artists were 
written in their time in diverse ways, and are so written 


translator's preface 

in our own. I have been careful to preserve the forms 
selected by Mr. Valentiner excepting in a few cases 
where another form chances to be much more familiar 
to the readers of English. In writing the names of 
Dutchmen and Flemings I have, as is proper, written 
van with a small v, but in citing American names of 
Dutch origin I have used, as is customary with us, a 
capital V. 

M. G. Van Rensselaer. 

9 West Tenth Street, 
New York, 

September, 1914. 



Author's Preface vii 

Translator's Preface ix 

Linear Composition in Dutch Art 3 

The Church Architecture of the Netherlands in 

the Middle Ages 11 

The Haarlem School of Painting in the Fifteenth 

Century 31 

The Satirical Work of Quentin Metsys ... 88 

The Brothers Govert and Raphel Camphuysen 95 

Dutch Ceramic Tiles 117 

Rembrandt at the Latin School 130 

Rembrandt's Blinding of Samson 151 

Rembrandt's Representations of Susanna . . . 164 

Works by Rubens in American Collections . 174 

Works by van Dyck in American Collections . 199 

Bibliographical Notes 223 

Appendices : 

I. List of Works by Haarlem Painters of the 

Fifteenth Century 229 

II. List of Works by Rubens in American Col- 
lections 235 

III. List of Works by Van Dyck in American 

Collections 238 

IV. List of Works by Rembrandt in American 

Collections 242 





Dirk Bouts, The Feast of the Passover . . 3 

Kaiser Friedrich Museum, Berlin. 

Lucas van Leyden, Ecce Homo ... 4 


Rembrandt, Ecce Homo 6 


Ter Borch, The Fortune Teller ... 8 

Albertina, Vienna. 

Jongkind, River View 10 

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 

P. Saenredam, Church of St. Mary, 

Utrecht \ C Z 


P. Saenredam, Church of St. Mary 

Utrecht 14 


Church of St. Servatius, Maastricht . . 18 

Church of St. Pancras, Leyden ... 20 

[ xiii ] 



G. Berkneyde, Church of St. Bavon, Haarlem 22 


P. Saenredam, Church of St. Bavon, Haar- 
lem . ■ . 26 

Collection of Mr. J. G. Johnson, Philadelphia. 

Choir, Church of St. Bavon, Haarlem. . 26 


Dirk Bouts, Madonna and Child ... 38 

National Gallery, London. 

Dirk Bouts, The Gathering of the Manna 40 

Pinakothek, Munich. 

Dirk Bouts, St. Christopher . . 42 

Pinakothek, Munich. 

Dirk Bouts, Portrait of a Man ... 44 

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 

Ou water, The Raising of Lazarus . . 46 

Kaiser Friedrich Museum, Berlin. 

Follower of Dirk Bouts, Madonna and Child 48 

Collection of Mr. Stephenson Clarke, Hayward Heath, England. 

Follower of Dirk Bouts, The Raising of 

Lazarus 50 


Follower of Dirk Bouts, The Sibyl and the 

Emperor Augustus 52 

Staedel Institute, Frankfort. 

Follower of Dirk Bouts, The Marriage of 

Joseph and Mary 54 

Collection of Mr. J. G. Johnson, Philadelphia. 




In the Manner of Geertgen, Portrait of the 

Burgomaster of Schiedam .... 58 

Collection of Mr. J. G. Johnson, Philadelphia. 

Geertgen, Pieta 60 

Hof Museum, Vienna. 

Geertgen, The Adoration of the Magi . 62 

Rudolfinum, Prague. 

Geertgen, St. John the Baptist ... 64 

Kaiser Friedrich Museum, Berlin. 

In the Manner of Geertgen, St. Martin 68 

Collection of Mr. J. G. Johnson, Philadelphia. 

Master of the Martyrdom of St. Lucy, The 

Crucifixion • 72 

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam. 

Master of The Martyrdom of St. Lucy, The 

Martyrdom of St. Lucy .... 74 

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam. 

Gerard David, The Virgin and St. John . 76 

Museum, Antwerp. 

Jan Mostaert, The Sibyl and the Emperor 

Augustus 84 

Museum, Antwerp. 

Jacob Cornelisz, The Crucifixion . . 86 

Collection of Mr. J. G. Johnson, Philadelphia. 

the satirical work of quentin metsys 
Quentin Metsys, Old Man Dancing . . 88 

Uffizi, Florence. 

Quentin Metsys, Three Men Carousing . 90 

Uffizi, Florence. 




Quentin Metsys, Seduction . . . . 91 

Collection of the Countess Pourtales, Paris. 

Quentin Metsys, St. Jerome .... 92 

Collection of Mr. J. G. Johnson, Philadelphia. 


Museum, Stockholm. 

Govert Camphuysen, Hen Alarmed by a Cat 104 

Collection of Mr. J. G. Johnson, Philadelphia. 

Govert Camphuysen, The Halt at the Tavern 106 

Collection of Mr. J. G. Johnson, Philadelphia. 

Govert Camphuysen, The Farm Near the 

Village 108 

Collection of Mr. J. G. Johnson, Philadelphia. 

Raphel Dirksz Camphuysen, Cattle . .112 

Collection of Mr. John D. Mcllhenny, Philadelphia. 

Raphel Dirksz Camphuysen, Cattle Near a 

Castle 114 

Collection of Mr. J. G. Johnson, Philadelphia. 

dutch ceramic tiles 
Pieter de Hooch, Interior (showing tiles) . 118 

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam. 

Tiles 122 

About 1580-1630. Italian Influence. 

Tiles 124 

About 1580-1630. Italian Influence. 

Tiles 124 

About 1650. Chinese Influence. 




Blue and White Tiles 126 

About 1630-1670. 

Blue and White Tiles 128 

About 1630-1670. 

Polychrome Tiles 128 

A. About 1725. B. About 1750. 

rembrandt in the latin school 
Rembrandt, Diana and Callisto . . . 136 

In the possession of the author, New York. 

Rembrandt, The Rape of Europa . . . 138 

Collection of Herr Kappel, Berlin. 

Rembrandt, The Rape of Proserpine . . 140 

Kaiser Friedrich Museum, Berlin 

Rembrandt, A Scholar 148 

Print Room, Dresden. 

Rembrandt's blinding of samson 
Rembrandt, The Blinding of Samson . . 156 

Staedel Institute, Frankfort. 

Rembrandt, The Blinding of Samson (detail) 160 

Staedel Institute, Frankfort. 

Rembrandt, Christ Bearing the Cross . 162 

Print Room, Berlin. 

Rembrandt's representations of susanna 
P. Lastman, Susanna and the Elders . .164 

Kaiser Friedrich Museum, Berlin. 

Rembrandt (after lastman), Susanna and the 

Elders . 164 

Print Room, Berlin. 

[ xvii ] 



Rembrandt, Susanna and the Elders . . 166 

Print Room, Berlin. 

Rembrandt, Susanna and the Elders . . 166 

Print Room, Amsterdam. 

Rembrandt, Susanna . . 168 

Mauritshuis, The Hague. 

Rembrandt, Susanna and the Elders . . 170 

Kaiser Friedrich Museum, Berlin. 

Rembrandt, Susanna and the Elders . . 172 

Print Room, Berlin. 

works by rubens in american collections 
Rubens, Romulus and Remus .... 176 

Collection of Mr. J. G. Johnson, Philadelphia. 

Rubens, Portrait of a Man and His Wife 178 

Collection of Mrs. R. D. Evans, Boston. 

Rubens, Wolf and Fox Hunt .... 180 

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 

Rubens, A Feast of the Gods . . . .184 

Collection of Mrs. Untermyer, Yonkers, New York. 

Rubens, The Entrance of Henri IV into 

Paris 188 

Collection of Mrs. J. W. Simpson, New York. 

Rubens, Portrait of Heliodoro de Barrera 190 

Collection of Mr. F. T. Fleitmann, New York. 

Rubens, The Fall of Icarus . . . .192 

Collection of Mr. J. G. Johnson, Philadelphia. 

Rubens, The Rape of the Sabines . . 194 

Collection of Mr. P. A. B. Widener, Philadelphia. 

[ xviii ] 



Rubens, The Reconciliation of the Romans 

and Sabines 196 

Collection of Mr. J. G. Johnson, Philadelphia. 

Rubens, Landscape 198 

Collection of Mr. J. G. Johnson, Philadelphia. 

Rubens, Cows 198 

Collection of Mr. J. G. Johnson, Philadelphia. 

works by van dyck in american collections 
Van Dyck, An Apostle 199 

In Private Ownership, New York. 

Van Dyck, Study Head ..... 200 

Collection of Mr. J. G. Johnson, Philadelphia. 

Van Dyck, The Repentant Magdalene . 201 

Collection of Mr. J. G. Johnson, Philadelphia. 

Van Dyck, Portrait of Frans Snyders 202 

Collection of Mr. H. C. Frick, New York. 

Van Dyck, Portrait of the Marchesa Durazzo 204 

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 

Van Dyck, Portrait of Lucas van Uffelen 206 

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 

Van Dyck, Portrait of the Marchesa Brig- 

nole-Sala 208 

Collection of Mr. P. A. B. Widener, Philadelphia. 

Van Dyck, Portrait of the Marchesa Cat- 

taneo 210 

Collection of Mr. P. A. B. Widener, Philadelphia. 

Van Dyck, Portrait of a Genoese Lady . 212 

Collection of Mr. C. P. Taft, Cincinnati. 




Van Dyck, Portrait of Viscount Grandison 214 

Collection of Mr. H. P. Whitney, New York. 

Van Dyck — Portrait of the Duke of Rich- 
mond and Lennox 216 

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 






COMING for the first time from Germany or 
Belgium into the Netherlands, we are surprised 
by the grave and simple character of the 
landscape, especially in the regions where art assumed 
its finest forms, the two provinces of South and North 
Holland. Instead of a hilly country clothed with 
vegetation of various kinds and cut up into fields of 
different colours, we find wide monotonous levels of 
meadowland intersected only by narrow ditches or 
broader canals running off toward the horizon. The 
roads, bordered by rows of slender trees, mostly elms 
and ashes, run parallel with these intersecting lines 
or, along the coast, are flanked on the seaward side by 
sand-dunes scantily overgrown. From the slightest 
elevation, even from the highroad, we see a symmetrical 
network of lines which, bounded in the most impressive 
way by the level unbroken sweep of the horizon, gives 
the landscape a serious character instinct with the 
quality which in the language of art we call style. 
Only the sand-dunes disturb the uniformity, swelling 
and sinking as though the sea were repeating its rhyth- 



mic motion for a last time on the land and thus effecting 
a transition to the reposefulness of the interior country. 

The disposition of the buildings accords with the way 
in which the land is thus divided by horizontal lines, 
marked out into wide rectangles. When a village is 
viewed from a distance the roofs seem to cling close 
to the soil in continuous stretches, for the houses dare 
present no wide expanses to the sea wind, and the mas- 
sive body of a church, lifting the lines of the houses 
somewhat higher, often makes more effect than its 
tower. When we walk the streets the regularity of the 
arrangement grows still more striking. Even in elder 
days the houses were commonly placed side by side 
in straight rows, parallel with the walled canals. The 
windows are so regularly inserted that, looking along 
the facades, the sills blend into long horizontal lines 
with which the level roof-ridges generally correspond. 
Since the eighteenth century these roof -ridges have for 
the most part supplanted the more ancient, less weather- 
proof gables, and now they assist the effect of breadth 
in the houses. In the larger buildings string-courses 
of lighter coloured stone usually aid the horizontal 
accentuation. In contrast are the determining per- 
pendiculars — the jambs of the windows, the dividing 
lines between house and house, the trunks of the trees 
along the canals, and the piles that at intervals reinforce 
their retaining walls. 

The ground-plan of the individual house, like that 
of the town or village, is extremely simple, and may as 
a rule be resolved into a few geometrical figures for 
which the lines of the canals supply the main axes. 
These arrangements go back to earlier periods when the 



unlikeness of the plans of house and town to those of 
neighbouring countries, and especially to the much more 
complicated plans of Germany, was already apparent. 

This intimate relationship in style to the landscape 
sprang in a great degree from practical necessity. The 
canals, straight-lined from the first of course, supplied, 
as has been said, the keynote for a severely regular way 
of building, and the damp insalubrious climate of the 
lowland prohibited the angles and bays of the German 
dwelling-house. An effect of cleanliness and symmetry 
made up for the lack of an expression of comfort in the 
exterior of such houses. 

Their interiors corresponded to their rectilinear 
plans. Reconstructing an apartment of the typical 
time of the seventeenth century, we wonder at the 
bare, straight-lined arrangement. A square fireplace 
occupies, perhaps, the centre of one wall, a pair of 
plainly framed pictures or maps hanging symmetri- 
cally beside it. In the corner a stiffly shaped chair 
stands on a podium; the whitewashed wall behind it is 
covered by a rectangular piece of ornamented leather, 
and the other walls are divided by the decided lines of 
the windows, under which stands a simple table, and 
those of the door, the great, widely projecting wardrobe, 
and the cupboard containing the bed. 

Going a step farther, from the practical to the artistic, 
and considering either monumental architecture or the 
industrial arts, we find the same sense of style. The 
great Gothic churches and municipal halls; the build- 
ings of both the chief architects of the Late-Renais- 
sance and Baroque periods, Hendrik de Keyser and 
Jacob van Campen; the modern buildings of Berlage, 



the architect of the Amsterdam Exchange; all, com- 
pared with the contemporaneous structures of neigh- 
bouring countries, have a bald and simple character — 
a plan that may be resolved into a few large rectangles 
and an elevation where the vertical and horizontal lines 
of construction are plainly shown and the undecorated 
fields of walls are emphasized. Or let us consider cer- 
tain products of the minor arts and crafts. In the 
designing of furniture there is now a return — with a 
modern interpretation, it is true — to the principles of 
that Baroque art which in Holland, with its strongly 
constructional shapes and its simple geometrical or- 
namentation, differed in so radical a way from the 
pompously contorted forms it assumed in other lands. 
Old Dutch, like modern Dutch, bookbinding is also 
marked by a love for linear patterns sparsely filling the 
field. The outer lines follow the edge of the cover, and 
toward the middle surround a few diagonally placed 
rectangles one of which contains the title. To their 
ceramic tiles, again, other countries have given a rich 
variety of shapes but Holland only one, the square 
shape; only in Holland does the plain white ground play 
so large a part in the general effect; only here is the pat- 
tern restricted to so small a field, or is sameness in the 
ornament — for example, in the filling of the corners — 
so marked a feature of the design. 

But the most striking proof of the existence, as a 
national characteristic, of a sense of style consistent in 
respect to nature and to art, speaks from the uncon- 
scious employment of the linear scheme of Dutch land- 
scape by the Dutch painter whenever he has concerned 
himself with stylized composition. This tendency has 





marked the art of every period from the earliest to the 
latest — from Geertgen van Haarlem's to Lucas van 
Leyden's and Rembrandt's and down to the modern 
work of Jongkind and van Gogh. As in Italy the tri- 
angle, so in Holland the rectangle, is used by prefer- 
ence to turn a fragment of nature into a composition 
complete in itself. Laterally the rectangle is formed 
by architectural or natural side-scenes; or, in the case 
of groups, by the vertical lines of their outermost 
figures and those that are prolonged above their heads. 
If a general outline is lacking, separate parts of the 
picture are composed into rectangles ; in the representa- 
tion of single figures it may even be that the upper and 
lower parts of the body are enclosed in such a pattern. 
Usually the artist avoids putting the geometrical dia- 
gram directly in the centre; in the Baroque time es- 
pecially he pushes it to one side, to preserve the effect 
of the accidental in nature. Of course I do not imply 
that this kind of composition may be found in all Dutch 
paintings; but for five centuries, all through the long 
development of this school of art, it so often reappears, 
particularly when the greatest masters are trying to for- 
mulate the laws of composition, that it seems the nec- 
essary expression of the sense of style of the painters of 
Holland. In the stead of the innumerable examples 
that might be given I can mention only one or two 
pictures by a few leading artists. 

A recognized trait of the two Dutch Primitives of chief 
importance, Dirk Bouts and Geertgen van Haarlem, is 
their preference for making their figures, when there are 
many in the composition, all of the same height and 
ranging them almost without movement side by side, an 



ordering which in itself emphasizes the lines of height 
and breadth. A typical example is the Feast of the 
Passover of Bouts in the Berlin Museum. The fig- 
ures might be almost exactly enclosed in a quadrangle 
which is pushed somewhat away from the middle of 
the picture so that the symmetrical effect may not be 
conspicuous. Occasionally we find that the early 
Dutchmen, influenced perhaps by compositions of 
southern origin, strive also for the triangular, the 
pyramidal, arrangement; but just these exceptional 
pictures prove that it did not quite suit their sense of 
style, for emphatic vertical lines accompany the diago- 
nal ones and enhance their effect. An instance of 
this is the Gathering of the Manna of Dirk Bouts, in 
the Pinakothek at Munich, with the triangular group 
in the centre and the upright figures on either hand. 

Naturally, examples of stylized composition may 
most often be found in pictures where the figures are 
brought into harmony with the severe lines of an archi- 
tectural background. Well-known early pictures of 
this kind are the Holy Fellowship of Geertgen van 
Haarlem in the Rijks Museum at Amsterdam and, in 
the same collection, the Virgo inter Virgines, the painter 
of which we call by its name. And an engraving of 
Lucas van Ley den's with an architectural background 
— the Ecce Homo — may be cited as a specimen of the 
many-figured compositions that were in vogue at the 
beginning of the sixteenth century. Perhaps a print 
like this, where amid long rows of stiff figures the princi- 
pal group is scarcely distinguished, may not strike us as 
one of the great engraver's happiest compositions. But 
if it had not corresponded precisely with the Dutch 




sense of style Rembrandt would not have imitated it a 
century later in a familiar etching, the large Ecce Homo 
of 1655, where the architecture, built up of rectangles, 
still more distinctly gives the keynote for the disposal 
of the groups and single figures. 

If has often been remarked that at the time when 
Rembrandt produced this etching, a time when he more 
frankly strove for stylized composition than at an 
earlier or a later period, he seems in certain works to 
have combined his figures into squares. This ten- 
dency to stylizing he shared in the sixth and seventh 
decades of the seventeenth century with a number of 
the greatest Dutchmen such as Pieter de Hooch, Jan 
Vermeer, and Gerard Ter Borch. It was the time of 
the finest flowering of the art of Holland, when the 
greatest ability expressed itself in the simplest possible 
form. In choosing this form the artist, instinctively 
falling back upon the art of the best of the early Dutch- 
men, returned to the accentuation of vertical and 
horizontal lines. In many exterior and interior views 
by Pieter de Hooch and Jan Vermeer this linear scheme 
is immediately apparent in the structure of the houses, 
in the decoration of the rooms, in the disposition of the 
figures, even in the construction of the figures them- 
selves, and the rectangle clearly shows as the geometri- 
cal basis upon which the composition is built up. 
Moreover, a study like the Fortune Teller of Ter Borch 
in the Albertina Collection at Vienna — a drawing 
which has something almost academic in the straight 
lines of the contour and in the adaptation of the body 
to geometrical forms — is a proof that the artist did 
not thus stylize in a wholly unconscious way. 



In fact, the decline of Dutch painting followed very 
quickly upon its most classical phase, for even the 
ablest artists could not long continue to combine 
stylized design of a large and simple kind with a vital 
rendering of nature. French art was able to win the 
influence that it exerted upon Dutch art in the last 
third of the seventeenth century because it accorded 
with the tendency of the Hollanders toward severe 
straight-lined forms. In their linear scheme the rec- 
tangular gardens in the style of Le Notre, such as we see 
in the backgrounds of the unsatisfactory late pictures 
of Pieter de Hooch, are not very different from Dutch 
gardens of the preceding period, nor, in the same sense, 
are the columned porticos in which an aristocratic 
society disports itself unlike the plain interiors where 
simple burgher folk took their ease. Only, the external 
scheme no longer truthfully expresses the inner meaning. 

If, finally, we turn to modern painting and seek, in 
the work of the ablest artists, for proof of a sense of 
style inspired by the landscape of Holland, we have no 
trouble in finding examples. With Vincent van Gogh, 
and still more with Jongkind, we constantly see that, 
to give repose to the elements of the picture, they lay 
stress upon the lines of height and breadth. If these 
painters are compared with the Frenchmen with whom 
they grew up, their pronounced Dutch character shows 
distinctly in the differing linear arrangement of their 
pictures, and by reason of this difference they uncon- 
sciously stand as supporters of the great national tra- 




A HISTORY of architecture in the Netherlands 
/% would necessarily take into account the results 
JL ML of the unending struggle of the people with the 
encroaching waters. It would consider the achievements 
of hydraulic engineering and the influence that they 
exerted upon architectural monuments, for the build- 
ing of canals and dikes helped both to determine 
the artistic character of the landscape and to develop 
in the architect the qualities that it demanded of him — 
a sense for sober and correct ways of building, for regu- 
larity in planning, and for the accurate estimating of 
structural strength. 

The earliest constructions of which we know in the 
Netherlands were works of engineering. When Rome 
conquered the country of the Batavians they were liv- 
ing upon hills which they had thrown up along the 
coast and which still exist to-day, notably in Gron- 
ingen and Friesland. So vast in extent are these so- 
called Terpen or Wierden, in certain regions stretching 
out for miles, that the labour of building them has been 

[ 11 ] 


not unreasonably compared with the task of erecting 
the pyramids of Egypt. 

The earliest canals seem to have been the work of 
the Romans, although a systematic development of 
inland waterways was postponed to a later day and 
accomplished by the Netherlanders themselves. With 
this exception the Romans built in the Netherlands 
much as they did in their other provinces, constructing 
camps and citadels, market-places, temples, and ceme- 
teries, which, of course, can hardly be credited to Dutch 
architecture. Some of them still survive in ruins — 
submerged in the sea like the Nehalennia temple near 
Domburg and the citadel of Brittenburg near Katwijk- 
Buiten, or on inland sites like the Forum of Hadrian 
near Voorburg and the citadel of Romburg at Ley den. 

In the Netherlands, as in other Germanic countries, 
the earliest efforts at self-expression in art followed the 
great racial migrations which, fertilizing the land with 
new blood, developed new powers and energies. Of 
the result, however, exceptionally little is known in 
just these regions. The Franks, the Saxons, and the 
Frisians distributed themselves over the territory of 
the Holland of to-day in a way that held good ever 
after, and in the planning of their houses soon displayed 
their racial peculiarities. Even now the farmsteads of 
the three races differ, in so far that among the Frisians 
the dwelling is separated from the stables and barns 
and among the Saxons is united with them under one 
roof, while among the leading people, the Franks, the 
separation of the domestic and the farm buildings is 
but partially effected. 

The houses still had no touch of art. They were 





caves, pile-dwellings, or mere huts of mud and wattle. 
Although nothing is left of them we may imagine their 
aspect, for even now in certain parts of Holland similar 
primitive ways of building survive — for example, at 
Assen, where pile-dwellings are still erected, and at 
Maastricht, where houses are excavated in the soft marl 
of the Pietersberg. 

The first impulse toward a somewhat more ambitious 
manner of building was the desire for a waterproof 
structure for the worship of the gods. Early Christian 
sources declare that, especially in Friesland and Dren- 
the, there were numerous heathen temples containing 
statues that stood on the high altars in honour of Wotan 
and Thor. They also tell how the monks came, shattered 
the figures, overturned the altars, and in the stead of 
the temples erected small wooden churches, and how, 
when the heathen took up arms, returned, and destroyed 
the churches of the little congregations, the conflict long 
surged hither and thither before the Frisians aban- 
doned a religion which, as it seems to us to-day, gave a 
soul to local nature and valued human wisdom less than 
a sensitiveness to the hidden life of field and forest. 

We may form an approximate idea of the heathen 
temple from recent comparative investigations which 
have established, for the pre-Carolingian period, the 
existence of a common style in all the northerly Ger- 
manic countries and have found a clue to their temple 
architecture in the surviving ancient churches of Ice- 
land. According to the description given by Albrecht 

They consisted of two contiguous rectangular rooms. The 
smaller choir-like room was intended for the erection of the altars 



of the gods and was the place of actual sacrifice; in the larger room 
the worshippers assembled, and here, drawn up after the sacrifice 
in long rows along the walls about the central hearth, they cele- 
brated the sacrificial feast under the leadership of the priest who 
had his official seat against the wall toward the room in which the 
altar stood. 

This ground-plan seems to have influenced the ar- 
rangement of the earliest Christian churches. Indeed, 
it is obvious that, in spite of all spiritual disagreements, 
the Christian architect must in practical life have con- 
formed as much as possible to existing conditions. Ac- 
cording to Haupt, the earliest wooden churches of 
the Netherlands, which can be reconstructed upon the 
evidence of the oldest existing Scandinavian buildings, 
consisted like the pagan temple of two rooms of unequal 
size, but these rooms were connected at first by a 
narrow opening and later by the chancel-arch uniting 
choir and nave. It was an influence from the south, 
the influence of the basilican type of church, that first 
developed a more elaborate arrangement with a narrow 
choir and a broad nave. Then chapels were sometimes 
added to the choir, and occasionally a vestibule stretched 
in front of the nave. 

Nor is the existence of a consistent Early-Germanic 
art of the north our only warrant for assuming analogies 
between the early buildings of the Netherlands and of 
Scandinavia. The two countries were in actual and 
close relations. The Frisians were often allied with the 
Northmen, and in the early Middle Ages several Dan- 
ish kings believed that they had a right to East Fries- 
land and North Holland. Moreover, coins have been 
found, struck at Dorestadt near Utrecht, which show a 
resemblance to those of Danish and of Finnish origin. 




In the Netherlands Christian civilization spread 
more tardily and more slowly than elsewhere — roughly 
speaking, between the sixth and the eighth centuries; 
and even then it was unable for a long time to establish 
firm roots except in the southern parts of the country. 
For an understanding of the development of Dutch art 
it is important to remember that during the Middle 
Ages and even later the Netherlands lay on the con- 
fines of European civilization, and that, strong though 
the influence of neighbouring peoples was in the border 
districts, frequently though the overlordship changed 
in the Netherlands themselves, the old stocks were able 
to preserve their independence. Thus it had already 
been in Roman times, for although in the days of 
Drusus and Germanicus the authority of Rome imposed 
itself even upon the Frisians, it was a precarious power 
as the uprising of the Batavians made plain. In fact, 
Roman civilization merely touched the Netherlands. 
Afterward, the disseminators of Christianity were wise 
enough to accommodate themselves more to local con- 
ditions. In the Belgium of to-day, where the civiliza- 
tion of Rome had won a firmer footing, they established 
their bishoprics in lieu of the old Roman provinces and 
thereby furthered the spread of the Roman leaven, but 
farther north they did not thus connect themselves with 
the vague tradition. The only bishopric founded in the 
northern Low Countries, Utrecht, lay in the territory 
of a purely Germanic race and could therefore soon 
become a local and a national centre. It was a long 
time, truly, before art here attained to independent 
utterance. In architecture, as in the other arts, the 
beginnings of a national style are not to be discerned 



until near the end of the Middle Ages, long after the 
artistic growth of the southern Low Countries had 
reached maturity. From the time of the advent of 
Roman civilization these southern regions had main- 
tained a lead of almost a hundred years, a lead that 
was still perceptible in the time of the van Eycks and 
even later, even in the time of Rubens. But if a na- 
tional art developed more slowly in the north, it stood 
there upon broader foundations, for nothing had ham- 
pered the unfolding of the individuality of the people. 

The clearest manifestation of its unlikeness to the 
art of the southern Low Countries during the first half 
of the Middle Ages was the adoption and adaptation 
of elements of German — that is, of Rhenish and 
Westphalian — origin. One of the earliest Christian 
churches of which we hear in Holland was founded at 
Utrecht in the eighth century; and the fact that the 
initiative came from Cologne is important as a sign- 
post, for during the subsequent Carolingian and Ro- 
manesque periods Rhenish architecture exerted a 
determining influence in the Netherlands. It was 
from the Rhine that the art of Charlemagne reached 
them. While they were under this great ruler the 
political constellations were so favourable that it 
seemed as though their time for a high development of 
civilization had arrived. After he united all western 
Germany and the Netherlands to his empire, the regions 
between Cologne and the mouths of the Rhine became 
the heart of his realm. Aix-la-Chapelle, as every one 
knows, was his favourite place of residence, and at Liege 
a school was founded that soon grew famous. When 
one of the important trade-routes of the empire led 



up along the course of the Rhine, trade seemed to 
develop in the Netherlands, especially among the 
Frisians. Then arose the oldest mediaeval building 
that still exists in Holland, the palace-chapel of Char- 
lemagne on the Valkhof at Nymegen, which, like the 
little cathedral, often called a chapel, at Aix-la-Chapelle, 
was attached to a palace with a great banqueting hall. 
And that Carolingian civilization did not stop at this 
point is proved by a building in the far north of Holland 
that was long forgotten, the Church of St. Walburg at 
Groningen. It was begun in the year 811 and was torn 
down in 1619, but is preserved in old pictures that have 
enabled Peters to reconstruct its original plan. Deriv- 
ing from the cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle, it had the 
same centralized plan and was of similar importance but, 
like the chapel at Nymegen, not quite so large. 

In spite of its small size this chapel at Nymegen 
makes an imposing effect, greatly aided by its beautiful 
site on the last spur of the Rhenish hills, the river 
Waal running in wide curves at the foot of the slope. 
Above its elevated central part lies a low dark vault 
with polygonal sides, built of clumsily squared stones 
intermingled with bricks some of which are Roman 
tiles bearing the stamps of the legionaries. In the 
massive design, the colossal walls, we may trace the 
spirit of the mighty but still half-barbarous ruler of 
Europe who, here as at Aix-la-Chapelle, drew upon his 
memories of the south, and especially of Ravenna, but 
used them in novel creations of a bold northern char- 

For two centuries the buds of this Carolingian civili- 
zation unfolded no farther in the Netherlands. The 



country could not stand up against the repeated at- 
tacks of the Northmen who again and again destroyed 
all signs of renewed vitality. Better times for the 
Netherlands did not return until, under the Hohenstau- 
fens, architectural activity spread along the valley of 
the Rhine, producing cathedrals of the greatest beauty. 
Akin in style to these Rhenish structures were two 
churches that then arose at Maastricht and Roermond, 
the most important that have been preserved in Hol- 
land from the Romanesque period. Even finer, per- 
haps, was once the Church of St. Mary at Utrecht. 
Torn down in the year 1814, it is shown in the drawings 
of the architectural painters of the seventeenth century, 
notably in those of Pieter Saenredam and Lambert 
Doomer which have been published by Hofstede de 
Groot. Probably it was erected by the founder of the 
cathedrals of Mainz and Speyer, the greatly gifted 
Emperor Henry IV, in fulfilment, if tradition speaks 
truly, of a vow that he would build a church to the 
Virgin because he had injured the cathedral of Milan 
in taking the city. The likeness in plan between St. 
Mary's and the Church of San Ambrogio at Milan may 
be thought to support this story. In construction St. 
Mary's, which must have had an importance for the 
Romanesque architecture of the Netherlands such as 
the cathedral of Utrecht had for the Gothic, was a 
vestibuled church designed according to what the 
Germans call the gebundene System — that most per- 
fect solution of the problems of mediaeval architecture, 
in which the crossing of nave and transept is taken as 
the unit of construction and two bays of the aisles 
correspond to one in the loftier nave. 



The churches at Roermond and Maastrict — the 
finest, as has been said, that remain from their period 
— are admirable examples of the intrinsic strength and 
animated grouping of the fully developed Romanesque 
style. St. Servatius at Maastricht is the more elabo- 
rate of the two in design, and in the Gothic period 
was further enriched by the addition of chapels. The 
massive structure with its five towers — simple in 
plan, splendidly separating itself in elevation — forms 
an harmonious, vigorously animated silhouette. The 
double crypts, the dwarf arcade around the semicircular 
apse, and the square towers pierced by rows of windows 
near the top, are characteristic features of the archi- 
tecture of the Lower Rhine countries, and by way of 
Maastricht were transmitted to Belgium and especially 
to Tournai. 

Maastricht still possesses another great Romanesque 
building, the Church of Our Lady, important for its 
interior effect and particularly impressive in its great 
crypt borne by three rows of slender columns. Out- 
side, however, it is not comparable to St. Servatius. 
Although it dates from the eleventh century an older 
building, of the end of the tenth century, was unskil- 
fully utilized in its construction, so that the main front 
now consists of an over-lofty featureless mass of wall 
flanked by two small staircase turrets. 

Besides these buildings in the southern part of Hol- 
land there must be noted in the north, in Friesland and 
Groningen, a little group of Romanesque village churches 
built on an unusual plan which, as Dehio has pointed 
out, is also to be found in Anjou and in Westphalia. 
They have no aisles, a quadrangular choir with a flat 



east-end, and barrel vaults. The thick walls, sloped 
on the outside, the small windows, and the plain stumpy 
towers give them a gloomy fortress-like air. Probably 
these Angevin arrangements were introduced from 
Westphalia, for the relations of this region with Anjou 
are apparent in other fields as well as in architecture 
and were brought about, perhaps, by the English who 
ruled over Anjou in the twelfth and thirteenth cen- 

If during the first half of the Middle Ages the archi- 
tecture of the Netherlands is still incomplete and can- 
not yet be separated from the art of adjacent countries, 
from the time of the upgrowth of the cities in the thir- 
teenth and fourteenth centuries the picture shows more 
variety, and in the fifteenth century we find archi- 
tectural enterprise as vigorous in the Netherlands as in 
any of the chief centres of Late-Gothic art. The true 
flowering of Dutch mediaeval church architecture, con- 
temporaneous with the beginnings of the art of paint- 
ing, survives to-day in almost every picture of a Dutch 
city, for the principal church was usually Gothic, and 
in most cases there were also fortified towers or town 
gates of the same period. Numberless are the Gothic 
churches of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, but 
here, to make plain their general character, only a few 
of the chief examples can be cited. 

The finest of them all is the cathedral at Utrecht. 
The incomparable choir was built at about the same 
time as the cathedral of Cologne and, indeed, in con- 
junction with it; the somewhat later brick tower speaks 
more of Flemish influence. This cathedral was a 
beacon of the church for the whole country, and from 




the time of the van Eycks' Ghent altar-piece it 
constantly appears, symbolically introduced, in the 
landscape backgrounds of Early-Dutch pictures. Most 
of the principal churches of the other large cities of 
Holland are known from the landscape paintings of 
the seventeenth century. In the pictures of van 
Goyen, for example, we usually see the tall tower of 
the Great Church of the Hague, now replaced, unfortu- 
nately, by a clumsy iron spire, or the lofty massive naves 
of the chief churches of Leyden, St. Peter's and the 
Hooglandsche Kerk, also called the Church of St. 

The distant views of Jacob Ruisdael and the city 
pictures of Gerrit Berckheyden have made familiar 
the gigantic Church of St. Bavon at Haarlem with its 
graceful fleche* The towers of both the principal 
Gothic churches of Delft, the Old Church and the New 
Church, often rise beyond the courtyards of Pieter de 
Hooch. And in the backgrounds of numerous paint- 
ings by Albert Cuyp we meet the Great Church of 
Dordrecht, its unfinished square tower crowned by a 
provisional seventeenth-century termination. More- 
over, all who have visited Holland must remember the 
Old Church at Amsterdam, for its finely proportioned 
tower is a feature in the first impression one gets on 
leaving the railroad station, and also the so-called New 
Church on the Dam, only a little later in date, where 

*For want of a better, I use this word to indicate the openwork spire which on 
continental churches often stands above the intersection of nave and choir. The 
German term is Dachreiter, ' ' roof -rider", explanatory and picturesque. We may- 
suppose that there is no good English equivalent (although "lantern" is sometimes 
used) because a, fleche rarely if ever occurs in England where even the largest medi- 
aeval churches were kept so low that a great tower could be made the central feature 
of the composition. — Translator. 



the bare walls are broken by enormous windows strik- 
ing even in an exterior view. With these churches the 
Church of St. James at 'S Hertogenbosch (Bois de Due) 
and the Church of St. Nicholas at Kampen must be 
named as two of the largest with five aisles. All of 
them date in greater part from the fourteenth and the 
end of the thirteenth century and were finished in the 

The character of the Gothic churches of Holland is 
clearly revealed when we contrast them with Belgian 
buildings. To be frank, the comparison is not in 
Holland 's favour. The cathedrals of the southern Low 
Countries, subjected to French influences, display all 
the splendours of Late-Gothic art. Rich and brilliant 
is the decoration of the surfaces, in animated fashion 
the various parts of building group themselves together, 
and the pompous bright interiors are filled with a spirit 
of joyous life. In Holland there are no such intoxicat- 
ing effects as in the cathedral of Antwerp or in St. 
Gudule at Brussels. In Holland no one has ever been 
impelled to speak, as in Belgium, of the Flamboyant 
style or to use the sonorous word "cathedral," although 
several of the principal Dutch churches surpass the 
Flemish in size. 

In fact, if we consider the Dutch churches only from 
the standpoint of architectural history, they are balder 
and less interesting than the contemporary buildings 
of any neighbouring country. Too large, and almost 
clumsy and rustic of aspect, they look like magnified 
village churches. Their construction shows no com- 
plexities, for their stone vaults, dangerous undertakings 



because of the instability of the soil, were added, not 
very skilfully, at a later day. In many respects, more- 
over, these churches often look unfinished. The towers 
in particular were seldom completed in Gothic days, 
for the rise of the cities in the fifteenth century was 
followed by a period of unrest and by the religious 
cleavage which, at the time of the Reformation, hin- 
dered the completion of gigantic religious edifices. 
And, it may be added, beautiful buildings often fail of 
their intended effect because of the introduction of the 
novel arrangements of Protestant congregations. Such 
is the case with the church at Goes, now divided by a 
wall through the middle into two parts, and with the 
transept of the cathedral of Utrecht which has been 
altered into a Reformed church. Moreover, nature 
has worked more destructively here than elsewhere. 
Storms shattered certain towers, like the one at Alk- 
maar, and the nave of the cathedral of Utrecht; and in 
other buildings the original wooden ceilings, generally 
used instead of stone vaults, fell a prey to fire together 
with parts of the superstructure and of the choir. 
Often the sandstone ornamentation with which the 
customary brickwork was at times enlivened has not 
withstood the weather; and where only sandstone was 
used, as in the Maastricht region, it has so disintegrated 
as to demand renovations amid which scarcely anything 
of the old structure remains. 

In short, at a first hasty glance there seems little 
in the way of praise to be said of these churches which, 
now that only a small part of them is occupied by the 
congregation, seem doubly arrogant in their excessive 
size. Nevertheless it is here that the individuality in 



style of the art of the Netherlands first expressed itself, 
earlier than in painting or in sculpture. Here, in the 
still undeveloped simplicity of a primitive art, we find 
the characteristics which afterward came to such ad- 
mirable development in the painting of the great period 
— an innate strength proper to the whole nation, a 
puritanical temperament recognizing only realities, and 
above all a mastery of pictorial effect, always better 
understood by the Dutch than architectural effect. 

These buildings owe their imposing air mainly to the 
simple cubical shape of their parts, to the exceptional 
height and breadth of the three aisles, which are not 
combined in any strictly prescribed way, to the great 
undecorated wall spaces, and to the gigantic undivided 
window openings. The body of the church usually 
seems too large in comparison with the tower which is 
seldom finished and is treated, so to say, for its own 
sake or is confused in idea with afleche; too large also 
in comparison with the surrounding houses which we 
know to have been much smaller in the old days than 
either French or German houses, while the churches 
yielded nothing in size to those of other lands. 

In village churches, especially in Zeeland, strong 
buttresses flanking the walls and a primitive square or 
sometimes six-sided tower increase the massiveness 
of effect. Generally there are buttresses also at the 
corners of the tower, often spreading so widely that 
they seem to support it on a sloping pedestal. The 
plain pointed windows with which it is pierced on each 
side give an idea of the great thickness of the walls, 
due in the beginning to the unskilfulness of the builder 
but afterward retained for artistic reasons. On the 



other hand, in these village churches and just as often 
in the larger ones the windows of the aisles, being 
carried very low down as they are in Dutch houses, 
add an air of comfort to the monumental effect. One 
advantage of the use of wooden vaults or flat wooden 
ceilings was that the architect, with no great weight to 
support, could give his interior unusual breadth and its 
pillars a wide spacing. And this abundance of space 
and light, expressing a taste that Late-Gothic archi- 
tecture everywhere reveals, could here be enhanced 
by a more open fenestration of the clerestory than a 
stone vault would have permitted. 

The distinctive beauty of these buildings lies, how- 
ever, not so much in their construction as in their 
correspondence in spirit with their environment and 
in their pictorially effective composition. Delightful 
from a painter 's point of view is above all the grouping 
of the different parts of the structure. Commonly the 
large churches lack a dominating and unifying feature, 
for in no branch of effort was balanced composition the 
strong side of the Dutch artist. Not only are the aisles 
and the nave separately roofed but usually each bay of 
the aisle has its own roof, and the diversified picture 
created by these peaked and saddle roofs is enhanced 
by the coverings of the apsidal chapels or of smaller 
accessory buildings along the sides of the church. The 
five-aisled churches in particular seem to fall into 
varied masses of distinct buildings crowded together 
and, in form and in material, so happily harmonized 
with the surrounding houses that they have no look of 
isolation. In a Dutch city the church, in any near 
view, stands out much less prominently from the street 



picture than it does in Belgium. And it is precisely in 
this regard paid to the environment in the designing of 
a church that the art of the Dutch architect shows to 
the best advantage. 

Even the uninstructed traveller in Holland imme- 
diately perceives the skill displayed in combining the 
church with the silhouette of the city square, or in 
using it to close a street perspective, or in so building 
up church and street along the edge of a canal that, 
with the surrounding trees, they mirror themselves in 
the water. Nor can he fail to note the delicate feeling 
shown in harmonizing the form and the colour of the 
material with the adjacent buildings and, indeed, with 
nature as a whole, in considering in the choice of the 
small bricks the play of light on the water and the 
shimmer of sunshine on the leaves of the elms, and in 
leading up through the lighter tones of the lithic adorn- 
ments to the white doors and windows of the houses. 
These charming street compositions seem to have been 
arranged by the architect especially to serve as models 
for the painter. So it was only natural that a distinct 
class of landscape painters should devote themselves to 
the rendering of such views, and that others should dis- 
cover the beauty of the church interiors, equally pic- 
torial in their charm of light and colour. 

The chief sources of our pleasure in one of these inte- 
riors are the great clear wall spaces, where every play 
of light is apparent, and the fine simple harmonies of 
colour — the white of the walls, the beautiful brown of 
the wooden stalls and ceilings composing with the 
golden yellow of the brass chandeliers and choir screens, 
a few reddish spots where the tile pavement is visible, and 




perhaps also the warm dark green of the great curtain 
which in former days shut off the nave from the choir. 
These tones offered material enough for a rich variety 
of compositions by such masters in the painting of 
church interiors as, to name but a few, Saenredam, de 
Witte, van Vliet, and Houckgeest. 

Originally, it should be said, the interior decoration of 
these churches was not quite as simple as it has appeared 
since the seventeenth century. Under the whitewash, 
which from the Gothic time onward did, indeed, 
cover the greater part of the walls, remains of mural 
paintings have here and there been brought to light, 
proving a desire for a varied spot of colour or a grace- 
full decorative pattern in certain conspicuous places. 
The pillars of the choir were usually painted with brocade 
or carpet patterns that served instead of the actual 
stuffs displayed on feast-days only. Here and there, 
especially in the choir, devotional pictures which in- 
cluded portraits of their donors were hung about on 
the walls in a naive irregular way. The capitals of the 
pillars and the keystones of the vaults were gener- 
ally ornamented with colour, and in some churches, 
as in the one at Gouda and the Old Church at Amster- 
dam, a colouristic treatment of the windows in the 
grand style was begun. But this was not carried far, 
for, in the retarded development of Gothic architec- 
ture in Holland, interior decorations were completed 
only at the end of the fifteenth century or during the 
sixteenth, when ecclesiastical glass-painting was in its 

Most often, however, this sporadic decoration of an 
interior was concentrated on the ceilings. The wooden 



vaults — the art of building which was evidently 
nurtured in the Netherlands by the art of the ship- 
builder — are often bound and woven together by 
geometrical patterns so skilful that in themselves they 
produce a highly decorative effect; and this was en- 
hanced by carrying over them a graceful design of 
spiky leafage which grows from the capitals of the 
pillars up to the crown of the vaults. At times, again, 
the whole ceiling is decorated with Biblical pictures 
broadly handled and painted in tempera directly on the 
boards; or the semicircular vaulting of the choir, which 
takes the eye as one enters the church, bears a picture 
of the Last Judgment. The effect of these ceilings 
with their strong tones in lively contrast to the colour- 
less walls is best appreciated in the church at Naarden, 
not far from Amsterdam, which was painted in the first 
third of the sixteenth century by an artist who, poor 
though he was in invention, was rich in decorative 

A similar taste in decoration marks the exterior of the 
churches and especially their spires and fleches which, 
again, should be judged from the painter's rather than 
the architect's point of view. As the solid towers 
begun in the thirteenth or fourteenth century proved 
unstable or for pecuniary reasons were left unfinished, 
their torsoes were topped in the fifteenth century or 
later by graceful openwork terminations upon which 
the wind had no purchase; or, if a tower had not even 
been begun, the crossing was taken as the dominant 
point and adorned by a ta\\ fleche. 

The spire soon became a typical feature of Dutch 
churches; and as the Late-Gothic style, which remained 



in use until the end of the sixteenth century, was di- 
rectly succeeded by various versions of the Baroque 
without the intervention of a purer Renaissance style, 
forms like the bulbous spire, already employed in 
Late-Gothic, had a long life in which to develop toward 
perfection. An incomparable taste determined the 
proportions of the different stories of the tower as well 
as its outline and the individual motives of its orna- 
mentation. Thus, as is also the case with the products 
of the industrial arts of Holland, the adornment is not 
spread over the whole work but is economically con- 
centrated in a single place, there to be all the more 
carefully applied in an ingenious elaborate design. 
This embellishment of the spire or fleche above the 
massive unadorned substructure may be compared to 
the delightful ornaments with which the simply attired, 
wide-petticoated Dutch peasant enlivens her headgear 
at certain points. 

With these general characteristics there must be 
noted certain local diversities in the Gothic church 
architecture of the Dutch. But first it may be said, 
as has already been implied, that genuine Late-Gothic 
work, in the sense of a luxuriance of design running into 
the fantastic, nowhere exists in Holland. Until about 
the year 1500, moreover, the Hollanders built in the 
simple Gothic style of the thirteenth and fourteenth 
centuries, so that if documentary evidence were lacking 
we should fix too early a date for their buildings, espe- 
cially those in the smaller towns, and above all in Zee- 

In the larger Dutch cities the three-aisled basilica 
predominates, built of brick with wooden ceilings and 



round pillars; such, among others, are the Old Church 
and the New Church at Amsterdam, St. Bavon at 
Haarlem, the Great Church at Rotterdam, and the 
Church of St. Lawrence at Alkmaar. Brabant and the 
adjacent parts of Zeeland hold, in architecture as in 
painting, a middle place between Holland and Belgium. 
The chief churches of Breda, Bois le Due, Goes, Veere, 
and Bergen op Zoom approach the Belgio-French cathe- 
dral type, having sometimes five aisles, apsidal chapels, 
and a richer development of triforium, window traceries, 
and flying buttresses. The smaller churches of Zeeland 
retained until an advanced date the older Early-Gothic 
type, and have a defiant gloomy air. As a rule they 
have no side-aisles, the choir ends with a flat wall, and 
there is no ornamentation. Such a church, uplifting a 
tower of pronouncedly sloping shape, seems the defender 
of the village that clusters around it and a seamark 
for the fisherman. 

The churches of the eastern provinces resemble 
each other less, leaning now toward the Dutch and now 
toward the Rhenish- Westphalian manner of building. 
While the round-pillared type rules in the north, the 
basilican type with rectangular piers is most common in 
Guelderland and, indeed, in Nymegen, Arnhem, De- 
venter, and Zutphen. In the Hanse towns of Zwolle 
and Kampen the Gothic churches, although among the 
oldest of the thirteenth century, were widened in the 
fifteenth and retain from the Early-Gothic period only 
the central alley of the nave. 




IT was not fortuitous that the greatest painters of 
seventeenth-century Holland — Frans Hals and 
Rembrandt — came, the one from Haarlem, the 
other from Ley den, for in a very literal sense these two 
cities were the birthplaces of Dutch painting. Although 
in other Dutch cities individual painters were at work 
during the Late-Gothic period, shortly before and after 
the year 1500, only in these two did coherent schools of 
painting exist at so early a time. As Frans Hals was 
Rembrandt's senior by a generation, so also the early 
school of Haarlem had antedated that of Leyden; as 
at Haarlem the flowering of seventeenth-century art 
began, so also had it been with the flowering of Primi- 
tive art. 

Yet we must not imagine too regular an historical 
sequence, fancying that the art of the great period of 
Hals and Rembrandt grew directly from that of the 
earliest masters. More truly, the impetus felt by 
Primitive painting at the end of the fifteenth and the 
beginning of the sixteenth century spent itself with the 



passage of two productive generations. A decline set 
in, as must happen with every people in the course of its 
general development, after a rapid unfolding of energy, 
and in this case it was made manifest by the absorp- 
tion of the public in other concerns, chiefly social and 
political. The conflict with Spain about religion and 
trade, which soon led to open war, concentrated the 
mind of the nation upon questions of subsistence and 
weaned it from art. Therefore art was forced to strug- 
gle for life and, because of its weakness, came un- 
der foreign and particularly under Italian influences. 
Only a few painters of genius like Pieter Breughel the 
Elder and Antonio Moro, who wandered to Flanders 
or to still more distant places, kept the national flag 
flying, and even they could not rescue art from the 
general decline. Not until the beginning of the seven- 
teenth century, when the war of liberation in the Neth- 
erlands had been virtually fought to an end, did the 
shallow waters of provincial effort gather themselves 
into the broad stream that upbore a Frans Hals and a 
Rembrandt. Then it was in the cities of Hals and 
Rembrandt, in Haarlem and Leyden, that the new life 
first awakened, for here, thanks to a great past, art 
had remained more vigorous than elsewhere during the 
days of darkness. 

The flowering of Dutch painting in its first phase 
covered approximately the years from 1470 to 1530, 
but, as we shall see, the beginnings of an independent 
art may in all probability be found several decades 
farther back. It is more difficult to set a term for the 
beginning than for the end of this period. Until 
lately, indeed, we hardly dared to speak of fifteenth-cen- 



tury Dutch painting, so impossible did it seem to dis- 
tinguish it from the contemporary art of Flanders. 
While in Flanders the beginnings of an independent art 
of easel painting coincided with the advent of the van 
Eyck brothers, Dutch painting freed itself from this 
sister development only by degrees, and at the outset 
in a scarcely perceptible fashion. Basing itself upon 
the great achievements of the Flemings — of the van 
Eycks, Rogier van der Weyden, and Robert Campin — 
it took over from them, at first almost literally, the 
grand style that united in so incomparable a way the 
delicate technique of miniature painting with the realis- 
tic spirit of Burgundian Gothic sculpture. Dirk Bouts, 
who was the first Early-Dutch painter of importance, 
might almost as justly be numbered with the Flemings, 
and his follower Ouwater still worked so entirely in the 
manner of the van Eycks that we may well wonder 
whether, had the origin of these two painters not been 
known, the critical study of their works would have 
discovered the Dutch characteristics which, neverthe- 
less, are undoubtedly present in their art. 

This resemblance between the early painters of Hol- 
land and of Flanders is easily understood when we re- 
member that politically the northern and southern 
Low Countries were regarded as a unit. During the 
greater part of the fifteenth century, down to the death 
of Charles the Bold in 1477, both regions belonged to 
the Duchy of Burgundy, whose princes resided by pref- 
erence at Bruges, Ghent, and Brussels, where the van 
Eycks and van der Weyden were at home. Although 
Holland was an outlying possession, and although its 
counts as well as its cities were striving for indepen- 

[ 33 ] 


dence, in all departments of culture it was affiliated 
with Flanders, and through Flanders with Burgundy. 
A change of government, bringing with it greater free- 
dom for the Netherlands, took place in 1477 after the 
fall of the Duchy of Burgundy. United again, the 
southern and northern Low Countries passed to the 
Hapsburgs, the heirs of Mary of Burgundy, and were 
joined to the German Empire. Then followed the 
flowering of Early-Dutch art, during the reigns of 
Maximilian I and Charles V. It is true that the Haps- 
burgs troubled themselves little about the Netherlands, 
but the connection with the empire brought these provin- 
ces into more vital relations with German culture. In 
respect to the arts, more manifold ties united them to 
the Upper Rhine, to Nuremberg, to Suabia, and above 
all to Cologne which for a long time had been bound to 
the Low Countries by the ties of trade. We realize 
how closely the painters of the Low Countries and 
those of the Lower Rhine lands were related when we 
find how hard it is in many cases to decide whether 
pictures painted in the neighbourhood of the year 1500 
belong to the one group of artists or to the other. 

Meanwhile the connection between the arts of Hol- 
land and of Flanders persisted as a factor in the joint 
development of the two regions; indeed, it again became 
so close when the school of Antwerp was in its prime, 
from about 1510 to 1530, that it is difficult now to dis- 
tinguish the works then produced in Holland from those 
produced in Flanders. At this time the source of in- 
fluence was the art of the rich commercial and cosmo- 
politan city on the Scheldt, which then attracted so 
many artists from other places. But even then the 



Dutch adapted in independent ways the impressions 
they received, and during the last third of the fifteenth 
century the art of Holland had had a clearly apparent 
character of its own, and had even given of its strength 
to the art of Flanders. The extraordinary achieve- 
ment of the cities of the southern Low Countries, 
especially of Bruges, Ghent, and Brussels, in producing 
during the early and middle years of the fifteenth cen- 
tury a long line of painters of genius, had been followed 
by a relaxation of energy that profited the north. Here 
the intellectual conditions had long been prepared for 
the development of an indigenous form of artistic ex- 
pression. The cities that had grown up during the 
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, steadily enlarging 
their liberties, contained a population which from the 
very first had been marked by strength of character and 
self-assurance. Never until the last moment before the 
downfall of a new over-lordship could the Netherlands 
be prevailed upon to accept it, and always all the ele- 
ments of their population — the clerical element con- 
centrated in the bishopric of Utrecht, the aristocratic 
led by the Counts of Holland, and the urban — were 
striving toward independence. These three elements, 
representing the strength of the nation, were also the 
supporters of artistic culture. The cities, where vital 
energy was strongest, produced the artist; and the chief 
givers of commissions were, with the bourgeoisie, the 
church, and the aristocracy which supplied some of the 
incumbents of church offices. 

This first flowering of the art of the Netherlands, 
this Early-Dutch art, may be divided into two periods, 

[ 35 ] 


one covering the last third of the fifteenth century and 
the other the first third of the sixteenth. 

In the first of these two periods the school of Haarlem 
(which alone concerns us here) stands preeminent with 
Dirk Bouts, Aelbert van Ouwater, and Geertgen tot 
Sint Jans (Geertgen van Haarlem) as its leaders. Two 
other painters of eminence were elsewhere at work at 
the same time — the so-called Master of the Virgo 
inter Virgines, who lived perhaps at Gouda or at Delft, 
and Hieronymus Bosch, the great fantastical painter of 
Bois le Due. Of these five artists Bosch alone was still 
active in the second decade of the sixteenth century. 
In fact, he holds a middle place between the two periods 
of Early-Dutch painting. 

In the second period the school of Leyden, with 
two great masters, Cornelis Engelbrechtsz and Lucas 
van Leyden, was of chief importance. But Haarlem 
still produced a few excellent painters, notably Jan 
Mostaert and Jan Joest, and it was from this place that 
the art of painting, now winning for itself a broader 
footing in Holland, spread to Amsterdam and Utrecht. 
Jacob Cornelisz is the most important painter of Am- 
sterdam, Jan Scoorel of Utrecht. 



Born at Haarlem about the year 1410, Dirk Bouts 
belonged to the generation that followed the van Eycks 
and Robert Campin (the Master of Flemalle) and was 
some ten years younger than Rogier van der Weyden 
and Jacques Daret. Phlegmatic in temperament, he 
can hardly have developed early. Probably he went 



to Flanders for his training, for there is no reason to 
believe that before his advent anything of an indepen- 
dent kind was achieved in Holland in the novel art of 
easel painting while, on the other hand, the beginning 
of his career coincides precisely with the splendid flower- 
ing of the school of Tournai under Robert Campin 
and van der Weyden. The gaunt and bony aspect and 
angular movements of his figures, and his efforts to 
render characteristic types and strongly marked ex- 
pressions, for the sake of which he often sacrificed 
beauty, may well indicate that he attached himself 
especially to van der Weyden. Settling in Haarlem 
at the end of his student years, at some time after 1440, 
he gave the first impulse to the development of art in 
this city. By 1448, however, we find him once more in 
Flanders, at Louvain, where he seems to have settled 
permanently, obtaining in the course of time impor- 
tant commissions from the municipality. Here we can 
follow him in his work from the year 1462 until his 
death in 1475. But it may confidently be assumed that 
in spite of his removal to Flanders he kept up relations 
with his birthplace, for he was still held in lively re- 
membrance at Haarlem in the time of van Mander* — 
it was still known in which house he had lived; and, 
as we shall see, his style was carried on in a number of 
pictures that were painted at Haarlem in the 'seventies 
or at earliest in the 'sixties of the fifteenth century. 

No product of the years that Bouts spent in Haarlem 
prior to 1448 is known to us, and probably little of im- 
portance survives from this early period, for all of his 
existing pictures that can be dated belong between the 

*Karel van Mander, Het Schilderboek. Amsterdam, 1604. 



'fifties and the 'seventies and with these the others must 
be classed. The total number, about twenty-five, is 
considerable as compared with the legacies of other 
Primitive masters; nor need this fact surprise us, for 
the pictures themselves bear instant witness to an 
industrious, an indefatigable, painter. Moreover, long 
years of activity were vouchsafed him. 

Dirk Bouts has rightly been ranked with the greatest 
of the Dutch Primitives. At first sight, indeed, there 
is nothing very attractive in his gallery of figures. 
Solitary, aloof from the world, his personages stand 
around in his pictures, the hard gauntness of their 
forms all the more noticeable because they are placed 
so far apart from one another. Most of them have a 
joyless outlook upon life and a bourgeois, dry, and 
wooden bearing. One might suppose a painter of a 
somewhat philistine, pedantic nature, a genuine Hol- 
lander in his phlegmatic temperament and his lack of 
all feeling for grace and charm. And yet his work 
possesses in a high degree the qualities that attract us 
so strongly to the Primitive masters. Under the shy 
reserved demeanour of his figures there hides an inti- 
mate and genuine kind of sentiment for which we vainly 
seek in the painters of later centuries. Sincerity and 
veracity of expression redeem that harshness in the 
forms which was due, not to the artist alone, but 
also to the general taste of his time. The unbeautiful 
Madonna with the high osseous forehead, the narrow 
eyes, the pursed-up mouth, is so imbued with all the 
qualities of motherhood that we cannot help admiring 
her. The Child expresses its infantile thoughts so sim- 
ply, so convincingly, that we watch its behaviour with 




greater interest than we should if its movements were 
more graceful. It is, however, in his masculine char- 
acters, with their measured expressive gestures and their 
quiet thoughts absorbed in a world of their own, that 
Bouts succeeds most admirably. 

His keen eye for individual facts is nowhere more 
plainly shown than in that rendering of the accessories 
for which Primitive painters have always been famous. 
The furs and brocades of his costumes are painted with 
the same love and the same sure sense of the material 
as the utensils on the table or the simple ornaments on 
the wall, as the fireplace, the buffet, the wash-basin in 
the niche. Wherever a window or a door permits a 
glimpse of the outer world the painter is sure to give 
an exact report upon the interesting details of street or 
garden or of the landscape back to a faraway distance. 
So it sometimes happens that a subordinate scene is the 
most charming part of the picture, and that the com- 
position lacks organic unity. And as it is with the 
different parts of the picture so it is with the figures: 
they are so individually conceived that they cannot 
easily come into relationship with their neighbours. 
This narrative way of presenting the subject — ranging 
the figures loosely one beside another and laying stress 
above all upon the pregnant characterization of the 
individual and the environment — is, again, part and 
parcel of the art of the period. It will be remembered, 
perhaps, how similar was the procedure of contem- 
porary painters in Germany and Italy — of Martin 
Schongauer, for example, and the Master of the Life 
of the Virgin, or of Fra Filippo Lippi and Ghirlandajo. 
It meant, in comparison with the art of the Master 



of Flemalle and Rogier van der Weyden, an advance in 
the observation of details that was certainly not favour- 
able to unity of composition, for these earlier masters 
had known how to hold their groups together in the 
interest of the main theme, and had always thought 
more of the whole than of its parts. 

Among the chief merits of Dirk Bouts are his rare 
feeling for colour, in which he surpasses most of the 
Flemish Primitives, and his technical skill. He is not 
a great colourist in the sense that by subordinating all 
other tones to a few he achieves an integral harmony. 
This ideal, indeed, lay far ahead of the painters of his 
day. But he sets his vivid varied colours side by side 
in such a way that each accords with the next and raises 
it to the highest possible degree of brilliancy. In this 
sure accordance of the different hues and in their warm 
and glowing depth only a few of his contemporaries 
equal him. In fact, for parallel effects we must look 
back to the van Eycks. The progress of time is shown, 
however, by Bouts' acquaintance with mixed tones, 
such as a gray-lilac and a pink, which do not appear 
in the work of the van Eycks or of van der Weyden. 

The strong yet rich variety of colour, the inner glow 
and warmth, that are characteristic of Bouts' pictures, 
as of most of those of Early-Dutch origin, distinguish 
them from the Flemish products of his time which are 
lighter and paler in key. And the purity of his colours, 
attained by means of a technique hardly inferior in its 
scrupulous carefulness to that of the van Eycks, gives 
his pictures a freshness that has outlasted the centuries. 

The most famous of his works are the two, in the 
Museum at Brussels, which interpret a legend from the 





life of the Emperor Otto III — a theme that was 
chosen by the municipal councillors of Louvain, who 
gave the commission, as an example of the results of 
judicial injustice. But these pictures, painted at Lou- 
vain during the last years of the artist's life, between 
1468 and 1475, do not show him at his best, for it was 
beyond his power to render dramatic action with figures 
the size of life. Under his hand the drama of a dreadful 
judgment scene becomes a long-winded tale in which only 
certain admirable portrait heads stand out as of much 
significance. Nor, indeed, did the Dutch painters of 
a later and greater time often achieve anything of a 
dramatic kind on a large scale, although even the 
Primitive Flemings, like van der Weyden and the 
Master of Flemalle, true precursors of Quentin Metsys 
and the remoter Rubens, filled great panels with pas- 
sionately animated compositions. 

Bouts appears to much better advantage in the 
triptych of the Martyrdom of St. Hippolytus in the 
Church of St. Sauveur at Bruges — one wing of which 
containing the figures of the donors was finished, after 
his death, in a masterly way by Hugo van der Goes 
— and in the somewhat earlier altar-piece, the Mar- 
tyrdom of St. Erasmus in the Church of St. Peter at 
Louvain. These pictures are full of splendid passages 
in the colours of the costumes and in the landscape; 
but again the stolidity of the artist interferes with a 
proper solution of difficult dramatic problems. Most 
entirely suited to his temperament, perhaps, are the 
beautiful triptych of the Adoration of the Magi at 
Munich and certain scenes in the Louvain altar-piece 
representing the Last Supper, especially in its wings 



which are now in the public galleries at Berlin and Mu- 
nich. A picture like the Gathering of the Manna bears 
witness to the character of the artist as well as to his 
method of composition and his conception of land- 
scape. With what slow patience do the three fore- 
ground figures collect the manna! How deliberately 
they have stooped so that their garments shall not 
drag ungracefully on the ground ! And how shyly does 
the little child that the meek meditative mother leads 
by the hand beg for some bread from the basket ! The 
landscape with its jagged rocks is still conventionally 
composed, but, enlivened by little figures of diminish- 
ing sizes, it stretches away in various vistas to a far 
blue distance. As a whole, however, it still surrounds 
the human beings as might an interior space, closely 
and comfortably. This conception which, down to the 
time of Rembrandt, we encounter again and again in 
Dutch pictures, interprets a peculiarity in the land- 
scape of Holland that was well observed by the Primi- 
tive painters — the constantly recurring contrast be- 
tween far distances and an enclosed area near at hand. 
In the verdant avenues with drooping branches, in the 
low forests, among the dunes, and on the tree-planted 
squares of the compact villages, one walks as in an 
interior that affords through little windows glimpses of 
far-spreading plains. 

In his biography of Aelbert van Ouwater, van 
Mander remarks that the earliest painters spoke of 
Haarlem as the place where landscape painting de- 
veloped. And Dirk Bouts has the first claim to be 
considered the founder of this great branch of Dutch 
art which in the seventeenth century counted at Haar- 





lem some of its chief representatives, such as Jan van 
Goyen and Jacob and Solomon Ruisdael. Although 
the composition of; his backgrounds is antiquated, 
Bouts observes aerial perspective and cloud formations 
better than his Flemish forerunners, and he is the first 
who strives to indicate in a picture the particular time 
of day. In the Gathering of the Manna and on the 
wing belonging to it, which is now at Berlin and rep- 
resents Elijah in the Wilderness, the evening shadows 
in the valleys are rendered with a delicate power of 
observation. In the background of a picture of Christ 
Taken Prisoner, in the Pinakothek at Munich, Bouts 
tries to give the effect of torchlight and moonlight. 
And the St. Christopher which forms one wing of 
the Munich tripytch of the Adoration of the Magi is 
rightly famous as the first representation of a sunset in 
easel painting. Certainly it was not by accident that a 
Hollander was the first who observed so closely the re- 
flections of the setting sun on the water and the land, 
and who tried to render with his restricted linear 
scheme what was afterward so perfectly reproduced by 
the painters of Rembrandt's time, above all by Albert 

It seems natural that an artist who took so much in- 
terest in characteristic heads should have painted in- 
dividual portraits, all the more because in this field he 
had predecessors as great as Jan van Eyck, van der 
Weyden, and the Master of Flemalle. Two such works 
are known — a portrait of a man in the National 
Gallery at London and another in the Altman Collec- 
tion in the Metropolitan Museum of Art at New York. 
Both of them, definite, simple, and rapt in expression, 

[ 43 ] 


stand worthily at the very beginning of Dutch art 
which in portraiture was to achieve perhaps its greatest 

A general survey of his work shows Dirk Bouts as a 
continuator of the great Flemish tradition no less than 
as one of the founders of Dutch painting. It would be 
a mistake to wish to dissever him from the course of 
Flemish developments and to consider him as a purely 
Dutch painter, for he produced his most important 
works amid Flemish surroundings and under Flemish 
influence. On the other hand, his Dutch character- 
istics are so pronounced that he cannot be judged solely 
from the point of view of Flemish art. The important 
double place that must be given him in the history of 
painting is indicated by the fact that in Flanders as 
in Holland he founded a school upon which, in the 
one country as in the other, the art of the following 
period was based. In Flanders as great a master as 
Quentin Metsys sprang from his school. In Holland 
the whole school of Haarlem blossomed from his art. 
This art forms the first stage in the progress of Dutch 
painting which, just then, was freeing itself in spirit 
from the art of the neighbour land. From the moment 
when the artists for whom Dirk Bouts had done such ex- 
cellent preparatory work remained in their native country 
Dutch painting stood upon its own feet. 

In Louvain numerous works issued from the school of 
Bouts, and a group of them may be ascribed to one of 
his sons, Aelbrecht Bouts. But these pictures, intrin- 
sically of small importance, need not be considered in 
connection with Dutch painting for, in spite of an 
affinity with Bouts' compositions, they are markedly 




Flemish in their colouring as well as in their types which 
show the influence of Hugo van der Goes. We may 
therefore turn to Haarlem where in Aelbert van Ou- 
water we find the most important of the immediate 
followers of Dirk Bouts. 



The criticism that is based upon stylistic grounds 
has been more barren of results in dealing with Ouwater 
than with any other great Primitive painter. After a 
successful first step — when Dr. Wilhelm Bode, shortly 
before the year 1890, discovered in Italy one of the two 
pictures by Ouwater that van Mander had described — 
our knowledge of the painter has not advanced by a 
single degree, for not one of the works ascribed to him 
during the last thirty years can stand the test of careful 
criticism. The only surely authenticated picture of 
Ouwater's is still the one that Bode discovered, the 
Raising of Lazarus, now in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum 
at Berlin. Yet it is very probable that about as many 
of his works are still in existence as have been left us by 
other Primitive painters — at least a dozen. 

The records are also surprisingly barren, mentioning 
Ouwater only once, in the year 1467, when he buried a 
daughter in St. Bavon, the principal church at Haarlem 
— a fact which does not help us much in determining 
the dates of his career. We can depend, therefore, 
only upon the single picture in Berlin which, according 
to the witness of its style, dates from about the year 
1460, and upon the brief statements of van Mander. 
These imply that Ouwater was still alive in 1480. As 



his name indicates, he came from Ouwater, a village 
near Gouda; and from his picture we gather that he 
studied with Dirk Bouts. His activity must have 
covered, approximately, the years from 1450 to 1480. 
As he painted a high altar for the Church of St. Bavon, 
and as some of his paintings were known in Italy, he 
must have achieved considerable prominence. 

The most unfortunate result of the limitation of our 
knowledge to a single one of his pictures is the impos- 
sibility of defining with precision the part he played 
in the development of painting. So plainly, however, 
as far as form is concerned, does this picture speak the 
language of Dirk Bouts that, as long as a wider knowl- 
edge of Ouwater's art is denied us, we must regard 
Bouts and after him Geertgen tot Sint Jans as the 
masters who definitively determined the development 
of art at Haarlem. 

Through his one picture, however, we can in some 
degree make acquaintance with Ouwater himself. In 
his careful, minute, and brilliant workmanship he stands 
almost as near as Dirk Bouts himself to the classic 
tradition established by the van Eycks. Costumes 
and brocades, furs and silken turbans, he renders with 
the same astonishing technique, and, like his master, 
he achieves a beautifully diversified effect of colour, as 
of old stained-glass windows. Only, the tones are 
somewhat lighter and brighter — perhaps, in our pic- 
ture, because of the artist's wish to render the diffused 
light streaming into the choir of the church. The types 
are in accord with the more cheerful colour scheme, 
for although they are closely related to the types of 
Dirk Bouts they reveal a different temperament. The 





figures have less of the grave and reserved spirit and 
nothing of the strained intensity of expression that 
we find in Bouts; instead, they have a mild and modest 
or a naively stupid mien. Their bodies, though slender, 
are less bony and are short in their proportions, with 
delicately formed extremities. Timid and earnest in 
their demeanour, when they grow animated they ex- 
press themselves with childishly direct movements. 
How moderate, how gentle, are the astonished gestures 
of the awakening Lazarus! How shyly, with low 
voices, the figures back of Jesus comment upon the 
event ! Even the Pharisees venture but diffidently to ex- 
press their doubts. Only Peter zealously addresses his 
nearest neighbours, and a few of the spectators beyond 
the grating, crowding eagerly forward, seem to share his 
mood. More impressive, however, are the Christ with 
his simple bearing, his calm and gentle look, and the 
sister of Lazarus at prayer in the foreground, true Bib- 
lical piety written on her countenance. We are in Rem- 
brandt's country, these two figures remind us, and the 
art of Primitive painters like Ouwater prepared the way 
for his incomparable interpretations of Bible stories. 

Van Mander praises our painter especially for his 
landscapes, and in Italy also they were known as early 
as the beginning of the sixteenth century. It is hardly 
doubtful, therefore, that in landscape painting Ouwater 
carried farther the important innovations of Dirk 
Bouts — a proof of the remarkable consistency with 
which Dutch painting developed along its own path. 

In the composition of the Raising of Lazarus we 
find, again, a hint with regard to the later development 
of Dutch art. It is the first Dutch picture of a church 



interior, the forerunner of the numerous interior views 
which, in the time of Rembrandt, formed a special 
department of Dutch painting. It is true that Flemish 
art had supplied Ouwater with more than one example 
of a similar arrangement, but he was the first who 
observed the individual character of the interiors of 
mediaeval Dutch churches — the pictorial effectiveness 
of their clear lighting and the admirable fitness of their 
bare wall spaces as backgrounds for many-coloured 



There were other painters besides Ouwater who, 
working at Haarlem at the same time, derived in their 
art from Dirk Bouts. Such isolated anonymous ex- 
amples of their work as are known to us, dating mostly 
from the seventh and the beginning of the eighth decade 
of the fifteenth century, deserve attention for their own 
sake as well as for the sake of their significance in the 
development of the Haarlem school. 

One picture of this sort, owned by Mr. Stephenson 
Clarke at Hayward Heath in England — a Madonna 
and Child seated on a grassy bank — has often been 
tentatively ascribed to Bouts himself. It is a charming 
garden scene, typically Dutch in the rectangular flower- 
beds and the straight paths along which in the back- 
ground two saintly women are walking. Beyond the 
garden, which is enclosed by brick houses and walls, 
spreads a wide hilly landscape diversified by groups of 
trees, quite like the landscapes in the pictures of Dirk 
Bouts. In the cathedral of Leitmeritz, in Bohemia, 




Hofstede de Groot found an identical composition 
with a somewhat different background. Both these 
pictures are full of simplicity and grace. Idyllic in 
suggestion is the portrayal of the delicately formed 
mother picking a flower from the grass for the child who 
eagerly stretches out his arms, of the saints in the 
garden amicably greeting each other, of the flowers and 
the turf, the peacocks on the wall, the swans in the 
moat. No painter of the Madonna had hitherto gone 
so far in transcribing from nature, in portraying genre- 
like details. Compositions with enclosed gardens or 
courts came to be characteristic of the Haarlem school 
and, with differences in the principal figures, will often 
meet us again. Undoubtedly they trace back to Dirk 
Bouts, for in an altar-piece now at Granada he had al- 
ready set in a garden a representation of the Holy 

Another such picture, of about the same date as Mr. 
Clarke's, is a Raising of Lazarus which is said to be in 
Mexico and is known to me only through photographs. 
From the general arrangement and the attitudes of 
Lazarus, his sisters, and the Saviour, it appears that 
this artist must have known Ouwater's picture of the 
same name; but he lays his scene in a courtyard of 
similar design to the one in Mr. Clarke's Madonna and 
Child. On one side stands the palace, the lowest story 
borne by columns; on the other side, connected with 
the palace by a low wall, is a high corner or gateway 
tower. Beyond the wall we see the castle moat, 
hills farther back, and in the distance a city full of 
churches. The castle courtyard, its brick buildings 
enlivened by stone trimmings and adorned with blank 



arcades and crenellated cornices, the numerous low 
walls, and the little steps and stairways, admirably 
represent the castle architecture of the time, of which 
the Binnenhof at the Hague, although much changed 
by restorations, is the most extensive existing example. 
The picture in Mexico, it may be added, reveals an 
artist who is sturdier and blunter than Ouwater and 
who gives his figures a more plebeian aspect. 

It has been thought that in another closely related 
picture, the third which portrays a castle courtyard of 
the kind just described, the Binnenhof itself may be 
recognized. It is a representation of the Tiburtine 
Sibyl and the Emperor Augustus, and is now in the 
Stadel Institute at Frankfort. A clearer idea may be 
formed of its painter than of the painter of the picture 
in Mexico, for we may confidently attribute to the same 
hand another large composition, a portrayal of the Life 
of the Virgin, now in the collection of Mr. John G. 
Johnson of Philadelphia. 

Let us consider first the Frankfort picture. Almost 
in spite of ourselves it strikes us as comical. With a 
stupid supercilious expression the Tiburtine Sibyl 
points the emperor, who is splendidly dressed but 
coarse in type, to the sky, where in the distance floats 
the Madonna with the Child. The connection that 
should exist between this apparition and the terrestrial 
figures is in some degree missed, for the artist, evidently 
wishing to show neither the emperor nor the sibyl from 
the back, has turned the emperor more toward the 
observer than toward the Madonna; and for the same 
reason the bystanders, who are as boorishly self- 
important as the chief personages, also look in the 





wrong direction or else maintain an amusing air of 
condescension and indifference, an understanding of 
the miracle penetrating but slowly through their thick 
skulls. In some of the masculine heads, however, 
which are conceived in a portrait-like way, the heavy 
features have an imposing character, and two or three 
of the councillors at the left of the picture recall figures 
by van der Weyden or the Master of Flemalle. The 
costumes — the heavy baggy mantles, the high cloth 
caps, the pointed shoes, and the Burgundian head- 
dress worn by one of the ladies in the background — 
show that we are not far from the golden age of Bur- 
gundian art. The strength and the decorative breadth 
of this art, clearly revealed in Burgundian tapestries 
of the sixth and seventh decades of the century, 
seem to have been the ideal in the mind of our painter. 
In comparison with the work of Dirk Bouts the treat- 
ment of the lighting shows progress and at the same 
time a development of Bouts' problems. The courtyard, 
lying in a bright sunshine that casts sharp shadows, and 
the figures, standing out from it in dark, almost flat 
masses, are rendered with a simplified art surpassing 
that of the elder painter, and the delight displayed in ac- 
cumulating genre-like details in the background belongs 
to a later phase of art than his. In these subordinate 
scenes the artist appears as a great lover of animals. 
Under the palace stairway lies a chained bear, in the 
adjacent window sits a monkey, in the foreground 
stands a little greyhound, farther back a pair of pea- 
cocks promenade; and there are water-wagtails on the 
wall by the moat, storks on the roofs, herons in the 
field. In the delightful, clearly illumined landscape a 



horseman is riding away while a dog springs up to him, 
a shepherd pastures his flock, and on a pathway are two 
lizards drawn, in spite of the distance, on so large a 
scale that at first sight we might mistake them for 

The naive love of story-telling with which all such 
things are rendered is one of the most charming quali- 
ties of this artist. And it is shared by most of the 
Early-Dutch painters, who take more pleasure than the 
Flemings in an episodical spinning out of their themes. 

Full of similar details is a picture, owned by Mr. 
Johnson, of scenes from the Life of the Virgin with the 
Marriage of Joseph and Mary as the principal subject. 
A comparison of the feminine types and of the bearded 
old men makes it particularly clear that we have here 
to do with the same brush that painted the Frankfort 
picture. Moreover, we find the same clear illumination, 
the same distinctness of detail carried into the far dis- 
tance, and the same predominance of green and a 
strong vermilion. Nor is the little menagerie of tame 
beasts lacking. Most conspicuous now is a family of 
rabbits, one of them sitting sleepily on the path, another 
hopping away, a third just disappearing into his hole, 
his hind feet still visible. Admirably rendered also is 
the terrier that accompanies Joachim, boldly leaping 
down the steps of the temple. 

The artist has developed since he painted the Sibyl 
and Augustus. While this picture can hardly be of a 
later date than 1465, the costumes in the Marriage 
speak, approximately, of 1480. The garments of the 
women have become closer fitting and more elegant, 
the men wear shorter coats and the flat berets or fur 


caps with which we are familiar in the early works of 
Diirer. Broad slippers replace the long pointed shoes, 
giving the men, even on the street, a comfortable 
domestic look. In the stead of the Burgundian mode 
we have the less cumbrous fashions of France.* And 
the personages seem to have altered with their clothes. 
They have grown a little more animated and no longer 
contemplate the world so gloomily or unconcernedly. 
That the rejected suitors of Mary should still look on 
with apparent indifference, and that the elegant youth 
in the foreground should display a stupid and affected 
self-consciousness, is easily understood from the spirit 
in which the story is told. Joseph appears all the more 
cheerful with his naive countenance, and Mary carries 
herself with a meek modesty. But in a more lively 
fashion are described the scenes in the background 
which set forth Mary's previous history — the expul- 
sion of Joachim from the temple, the meeting of 
Joachim and Anne, the birth of Mary, her presentation 
in the temple, and finally, far in the distance, the 
annunciation to the shepherds. With long steps, pas- 
sionately gesticulating in assertion of his innocence, 
Joachim departs from the high priest. In serious dis- 
course he and Anne accompany Mary, an ugly little 
creature, as she approaches the temple and climbs the 
steps unassisted and with folded hands. And no less 
attractive is the episode of the birth where we catch 
sight of the thin face of the newly made mother hidden 
behind the half -closed curtains. 

Again, this artist has advanced in the way he carries 

*For changes of fashion see L. Balet, Geertgen tot Sint Jans. The Hague, 1910. p. 
10 et seq. 



his figures into the distance. They do not so quickly 
change in their dimensions, without any intermediate 
stages, as they do in the picture of the sibyl, but, with a 
certain intention, are ranged in gradually diminishing 
sizes back into the far distance. 

It is probable that the artist himself did not deserve 
all the credit for these important forward steps. At 
the time when he created the scenes from the Life of 
the Virgin a greater master than he — Geertgen, the 
painter of the Knights of St. John of Haarlem — had 
already appeared, to exert thenceforward an influence 
upon all the painters of Holland. This influence is sug- 
gested by some of the heads in the Life of the Virgin, 
such as the strongly characterized old man with a beard 
behind the high priest, and also by the juster relative 
proportions of the figures in the background. But 
with this artist as with all others Geertgen's influence 
worked especially toward a more animated and incisive 
individualizing of the personages. And from him must 
also have been derived that manner of characterizing 
the remoter figures by more emphatic gestures which he 
transmitted to all his successors down to Jan Mostaert 
and Jacob Cornelisz. 



Geertgen was the greatest of the early Dutchmen, 
the Rembrandt of the fifteenth century. It is said 
that when Diirer saw his work he exclaimed, "Verily, 
he was a painter in his mother's womb." 

Although we are not sure of the dates of his career, 
we may deduce them approximately from his pictures 




and the brief remarks of van Mander. Born, appar- 
ently, about the year 1465, some fifteen years later he 
was working under Ouwater in company, perhaps, with 
Gerard David who, even before he removed to Bruges 
in 1483, was strongly influenced by Geertgen's art. 
Geertgen's brief activity filled, it seems, the decade 
between 1483 and 1493, upon which his death soon fol- 
lowed. Although he did not become a member of the 
order of the Knights of St. John he lived with them at 
Haarlem, and for them he created his masterpiece, an 
altar-picture of which only a single wing, bearing on the 
one side a Pieta and on the other a Burning of the Bones 
of John the Baptist, is preserved, hanging now in the 
Hof Museum at Vienna. 

As his career was so brief it would be rash to try to 
map out for Geertgen a course of development. But it 
may be said that the altar-piece just mentioned, with a 
Nativity in private ownership at Berlin and the John 
the Baptist in the Berlin Museum, must belong to his 
ripest period, while the small Adoration of the Magi at 
Amsterdam, the Christ in the Sepulchre at Utrecht, and 
perhaps the Holy Fellowship in a church interior, likewise 
in the Amsterdam Museum, must mark the beginning of 
his career. Thus far we know, in all, fourteen of his pic- 
tures. All are in one and the same style and reveal a self- 
sufficient personality almost inaccessible to outside 
influences, the relationship to Ouwater or Dirk Bouts 
being merely of the general kind that exists between 
painters of the same school. 

In the presence of Geertgen's pictures we distinctly 
feel for the first time a material relaxing of the tech- 
nical tradition established by the van Eycks. They 



lack the brilliant effect, as of enamelled colours, and the 
miniature-like, sharply detailed finish that are charac- 
teristic of these elder masters. The colours are duller, 
the handling is looser, revealing the touch of the painter 
who unconsciously expresses his personality by the 
stroke of his brush. The figures have grown much 
more plebeian. They are robustly built rustic Dutch- 
men who have moved into the city and there achieved 
independence and consideration. The men have osse- 
ous heads, clean-shaven faces, and gigantic beards, the 
women have unbeautiful, long, chubby-cheeked coun- 
tenances, the children are broad-headed and oldish- 
looking. The men walk with a proud strut, the women 
squat clumsily on the ground, the children behave in a 
rude grotesque way. What is great in this little bour- 
geois world is the deep and sincere feeling of its in- 
habitants. So elementary is any expression of joy or 
sorrow wrung from one of these reserved and sturdy 
people that the astonished observer cannot refrain 
from sympathy. The counterweight to this intensity 
of feeling is a sense of humour fed by the observation 
of the discords of the outer world. Later on we shall 
find this trait again in Rembrandt, whose temperament 
on its purely human side is very like Geertgen's. As 
in Rembrandt's work, so too in Geertgen's, the humour 
is of a reticent sort appearing only in accessory scenes, 
as in the droll children of the Amsterdam Holy Fellow- 
ship, who look like figures of Pieter Breughel's. Geert- 
gen seems to have been by nature serious and reflective 
and, if we read his works aright, was not among those 
who are on easy terms with life. 

As regards the general development of art, the most 



important thing that Geertgen accomplished was, per- 
haps, his preparation of the way for the warmth of 
sentiment revealed in the work of Rembrandt; but, in 
addition, every element of Dutch painting felt the stim- 
ulus of his art. 

In his pictures the colours are, indeed, still bright 
and varied, yet they begin to subordinate themselves 
to a general tone, a warm red-brown which becomes 
reddish in the faces, giving them a heated look, and 
which already suggests the favourite colour of the 
Dutchmen of Rembrandt's time. In his preference 
for red in the costumes Geertgen became the standard 
for the whole Haarlem school. We find red as the princi- 
pal colour in the pictures of all his followers down to Jan 
Mostaert and Jacob Cornelisz, and at last it becomes the 
intense vermilion which expresses, so to say, the warmth 
of feeling of Rembrandt and his associates — Nicholas 
Maes, Pieter de Hooch, and others. 

Even in the landscape backgrounds of Geertgen 's 
pictures a stronger feeling for tone is perceptible. Al- 
though there is still a remnant of the traditional division 
into a blue distance and a brownish-green middle dis- 
tance, these tones pass more gradually into each other, 
and sometimes only a diminutive bit of the far distance 
is shown. In these landscape backgrounds Geertgen 
goes far beyond his contemporaries, and in some parts 
of them he often seems astonishingly modern. Like the 
great landscape painters of the seventeenth century, 
like Jacob Ruisdael and Hobbema, he loves hilly wooded 
regions interspersed with quiet pools and enlivened by 
one or two solitary wanderers. He still makes use at 
times of those traditional rocky motives which can 



scarcely have been reproduced from the artist's own 
observation, and he still renders distant details with the 
precision characteristic of Primitive painting. Never- 
theless we feel, perhaps for the first time in the pres- 
ence of Dutch art, that we are looking at landscapes 
that might really exist, and that have an intimate charm 
which invites us to visit them. 

As yet we do not know of any authenticated in- 
dividual portraits from Geertgen's hand although a 
portrait of the Burgomaster of Schiedam, dating from 
the year 1489 and now in the Johnson Collection, has a 
close kinship with his work and proves how much more 
simple, less anxious about details, and more broadly 
inclusive in the expression of character, portraiture had 
become since the time of Dirk Bouts. Moreover, in 
one of Geertgen's pictures at Vienna there is a splendid 
group of portraits of the Knights of St. John who, as 
the donors of the altar-piece, have their place in the 
devotional scene. Here, as has often been remarked, 
is the starting-point of the Dutch portrait group which, 
later on, was freed by Jan Scoorel and Antonio Moro 
from its association with religious compositions, and 
in the seventeenth century became one of the most 
distinctive branches of the pictorial art of Holland. 

Geertgen's instinct for the path that painting was to 
follow in his country shows in a still more striking way, 
perhaps, in two pictures that portray church archi- 
tecture. It was no novelty to set a religious scene in a 
church, as did Geertgen in his Amsterdam Holy Fellow- 
ship; not only Ouwater but also van der Weyden and 
Jan van Eyck had supplied him with noteworthy ex- 
amples. But Geertgen went much farther than they in 




depicting a church interior, showing a Dutch Gothic 
church with the wooden vaults above the central alley 
of the nave, the flat board ceilings in the aisles, the 
rood-screen, and the decorated altar, with so much truth 
and such accurate observation of the incidence of the 
light that he stands as a worthy forerunner of the great 
seventeenth-century masters of interior architecture, 
like Pieter Saenredam and Emanuel de Witte. 

In an interior view of the cathedral (the Church of 
St. Bavon) at Haarlem, which is mentioned by van 
Mander and is still in its original place in the church, 
he has even bequeathed us an architectural picture 
independent of a religious scene; and although it looks 
as though it had been produced in connection with the 
masons' guild of the cathedral, perhaps as a model, 
nevertheless it remains the first and the only oil paint- 
ing of its sort that has been preserved from the fifteenth 
century, in the city where afterward, in Rembrandt's 
time, the great painters of churches celebrated their 

Naturally such a painter as Geertgen was not weak 
where all the great Dutchmen were strong — in chi- 
aroscuro. His conception of the story of the Nativity, 
in a picture now in private ownership at Berlin, was long 
believed to be the earliest in pictorial art with a noc- 
turnal setting. In all previous presentations of this 
theme the light had been the light of day, although the 
artist had sometimes put a candle in Joseph's hand to 
suggest the hours of darkness. Geertgen himself had 
so treated the scene in an earlier picture. In the 
later one he not only renders the nocturnal lighting with 
admirable success but also introduces into art the 



scheme of illumination which in the next generation 
Correggio made famous in Italy. That is, he makes the 
light emanate from the Christ Child and thus makes 
him, materially as well as spiritually, the focus of the 

In his broadly human aspect, however, Geertgen 
ranks even higher than as a factor in the development 
of the art of painting. The painters of the beginning 
of the sixteenth century, not excepting even Lucas 
van Leyden, suffer from their effort to express more 
than they have in themselves, and adhere to the style 
in vogue in their day. Geertgen expresses himself 
as he is, with a natural simplicity which, it may seem, 
should be the first and most obvious trait of a true 
artist but is in fact the rarest. He is able to portray 
both joy and grief with complete freedom of spirit. 

Excepting Rembrandt, what Netherlander has known 
how to express suffering as Geertgen does in the Christ 
of his Pieta at Vienna? Intrinsically, this Christ has, 
indeed, little of the divine, but he is as piteous as ever 
mortal could be. Silently and humbly he has strug- 
gled, and so he is now less gruesome than the dead 
Christ of Holbein whose open mouth still bears witness 
to his outcries. Here only the corners of the mouth 
are slightly hollowed by pain, and the prominent cheek- 
bones cast shadows upon sunken cheeks. The body 
has arched itself with the intake of the last difficult 
breath, and the lifted breast and sunken abdomen rest 
naturally on the mother's lap. In none, perhaps, of 
the innumerable representations of this theme has a 
painter found for the Christ so reposeful a position, 
one that so directly and profoundly expresses the rela- 




tion between mother and son. In earlier pictures 
Mary, with a mediaeval simplicity palpably embodying 
the deepest love, takes the whole corpse upon her lap. 
A dreadful idea — that a mother should hold the naked 
bleeding body with her own hands upon her knees! 
Only in a country where the Mother of God was not 
a woman but a goddess could such a conception be 
spiritualized, as where the Madonna of Michelangelo 
holds the mortal burden lightly upon celestial draperies. 
With van der Weyden and with Bouts Christ already 
rests with his feet on the ground, but Mary still encir- 
cles the awful form with her arms and kisses its mouth. 
Geertgen conceives his theme in a more restrained way 
than the vehement explosive van der Weyden, in a 
more human way than the diffident Dirk Bouts. On a 
white shroud Christ lies upon his mother's knees; she 
does not kiss him or embrace him; in her gaze lie 
adoration, love, and an unspeakable sorrow that the 
head should no longer turn toward her pleading eyes. 
The communion between mother and son is undisturbed 
and shut away from all the world, for the encircling 
mourners are not saints of the church who descant in 
concert upon the misfortune that has befallen them but 
human beings who in their sympathetic grief have for- 
gotten external things. Abandoning themselves to 
their suffering, each one self-absorbed, they weep in as 
childlike a way as Homeric heroes. John, the beau- 
tiful youth with the elongated face and the splendid 
curls, grasps with a large gesture the folds of his cloak, 
to press them to his eyes. He neither supports the 
Christ nor consoles Mary as in the representations of 
other artists. Mechanically he points to the dead man, 



as though thinking of friends to whom he is explain- 
ing the inconceivable harshness of fate. The women 
also find no help in themselves, but seek comfort in 
prayer or look toward the observer as though plead- 
ing for aid. Hardly more self-possessed are the three 
other men. Joseph of Arimathea, a stern and daunt- 
less figure, has been brought to his knees by the power 
of the Saviour's meek personality. An old man behind 
him holds his head with a naive gesture, as though 
it threatened to sink. Behind them all, with a fixed 
and quiet gaze, stands an elderly man, great experi- 
ence and great suffering depicted on his countenance. 

It is like an epic, this picture, embracing the mun- 
dane and the spiritual life of man, the momentary oc- 
currence and the eternal existence of nature. Although 
in the background we see the brutal deeds of the day on 
Golgotha, the foreground group appears like a silent 
world of sadness. Or, if we glance at the other side 
of the landscape, full of a secluded peacefulness, we 
feel, in contrast again, the tumult agitating the souls 
of the friends of Christ. 

Although the separate episodes in this picture may 
seem to have small connection with one another, they 
are conceived in the same mood, as grows plain if we 
look at another of Geertgen's works, an Adoration of 
the Magi at Prague. How joyless seem the bare rocks 
of the Pieta and the gloomy wood with the solitary 
pool, how displeasing the dreary labour of the men on the 
hill, by contrast with the fresh and living world that 
now opens to our eyes. Here again are rocks, but the 
sun illumines them and vegetation clothes them. Here 
again are wooded slopes, but friendly cottages gleam 





out from them and palaces and castles are ranged up 
the heights. And the water lies, not apart, but amid 
the cheerful activity of the village street; the hand of 
man has dammed and bridged it; its surface mirrors 
gayly dressed, wide-cloaked figures grouped in eager 
talk. For whom has the landscape thus put on a Sab- 
bath garment? For whom do proud horsemen on white 
palfreys dash over the shining sand, to pause where the 
wise men of the land philosophically discuss a great 
event? It is all for the sake of the little prince who in 
the foreground sits, confident and bold, upon his 
mother's lap. No Christ Child is this, with eyes full 
of a knowledge of the world and forebodings of suffer- 
ings to come. Closer to the northern painter lay the 
conception, "When I was a child I spake as a child, I 
understood as a child, I thought as a child." Blithely 
the babe stretches out the bare arm that is clasped by 
the fingers of the gray-haired king and the supporting 
hand of Mary. The fingers of his other hand are con- 
tracted as though about to grasp at the glitter of the 
golden vase. But the mother, who esteems herself as 
naught in the presence of her son, receives the adora- 
tion of the kings with the modest self-possession of 
childlike natures. And the kings correspond in char- 
acter to this gentle earnest being. They do not parade 
into the stable with steeds and cavaliers, with pages and 
soldiers; as friends, dignity blending with modesty, they 
dedicate to the infant Christ their thoughts rather than 
their gifts. 

As a rule Geertgen is the enemy of all exaggerated 
vehement gestures ; his figures are born to keep silence. 
In the Amsterdam Holy Fellowship he resolves the 



problem of harmonizing the personages and the archi- 
tecture by making, so to say, columns of the figures. 
Broadly and heavily built women with stony faces sit 
upon the ground; men with beards like primaeval 
forests stand about motionless. Their poses are care- 
fully calculated: almost without exception they are 
shown in full or in half figure — seven of them in full 
face, three in profile, three from the back. Only the 
awkward intrusions of a couple of children cut across 
the structure of regular lines, like the grotesques on a 
Gothic capital. In the same restrained manner the 
unworldly artist dealt with the portrayal of John the 
Baptist in the Wilderness. With Geertgen, as with all 
the great Dutchmen, the feeling for individual person- 
ality was so strong that in compositions of many figures 
it was apt to impair unity, as is the case in the second of 
his pictures at Vienna. It is in the portrayal of single 
figures that the artists of Holland have often given us 
their very best. 

Sunk in an endless reverie the Baptist sits low down 
in a pleasant wooded landscape of flowing lines that 
lead the eye back to a distance dotted with cities. He 
takes no heed of the animals that play around him, of 
the roe-buck by the water, the hares that nibble the 
fern, or the birds in the air, or even of the Lamb that 
rests beside him. Absorbed in himself he crouches on 
the ground. Nothing is left of the typical art of the 
fifteenth century, which represented the Baptist stand- 
ing and pointing to the Lamb. Here he is like all the 
great artistic personifications of deep meditation — 
the Melencolia or the St. Anthony of Diirer, Michel- 
angelo 's Jeremiah or Lorenzo de' Medici, Rem- 





brandt's young man lying at the feet of Christ in the 
Hundred Guilder Print — in that he has seated himself 
naturally and negligently without thought of the spec- 
tator and, as deep reflection paralyzes physical effort, 
has suppressed all tendency to external action, drawing 
his limbs together into the smallest compass and press- 
ing his hands and feet close to his body. 

The defects characteristic of the period — the too 
great height of the point of view in respect to the land- 
scape, the detachment of the figures from the back- 
ground, the discordant proportions of the people and 
the animals — do not disturb us here, for all the 
separate parts are individually and largely observed. 
It might, for example, be hard to distinguish the species 
of the trees and plants, as one may do with Dirk Bouts 
who saw details better than anything else, or with the 
van Eycks who were still affected by the persistent medi- 
aeval way of working. Yet by subordinating the details 
of a landscape to a general impression Geertgen achieves 
the effect of a faithfully rendered natural scene more 
completely, perhaps, than any other Primitive painter of 
the Low Countries. It suffices us that the ferns, the dan- 
delions, the thistles, the trees, are so shaped as to awaken 
our general recollections of such plants. The greatest 
landscape painters have not been the best botanists. 
If they had been, it would mean that the love of science 
must always be a factor in art, as it was with Diirer 
and Leonardo, but not with Ruisdael or Hobbema and 
still less with Rembrandt or Rubens in whose paint- 
ings even the species of the trees cannot be identified. 
Geertgen was a forerunner on the path that they trod, 
a path that led to a stage where, in imaginary land- 

[ 65 ] 


scapes, living nature down to the last characteristic 
detail was infused with the painter's sense of style. 
Unconsciously Geertgen was more concerned that the 
spirit of the artist should express itself in the portrait- 
ure of every leaf than that the pattern supplied by 
nature should be distinctly apparent. 

If in this picture of the Baptist all passion is immured 
in the depths of the soul, in another work of Geertgen's, 
which we must look upon as exceptional, it bursts forth 
with unparalleled violence. Here, in the Christ in the 
Sepulchre at Utrecht, the Saviour is drenched with the 
blood that flows from his wounds in broad streams. 
With a feeble hand he tries to stanch the fount in 
his gaping side. His tottering form is broken by the 
weight of the cross which, bulky and black, leans against 
him. Great teardrops fall from his eyes, and all those 
around him — Mary and the Magdalene, St. John and 
the angel — are also weeping. All restraint is thrown 
aside. With a kind of sentiment that is proper to the 
north the composition is shaped by the spirit of the 
scene, the form is as wild and confused as its inner 
significance. How impossibly the figures move in an 
impossible place! We do not see how Christ stays in 
the sarcophagus, how the cross stands, or how the 
Magdalene kneels or Mary and John find room for them- 
selves. The lines of the tomb lead the eye toward the 
distance in a direction that is reversed by the horizontal 
arm of the cross. The angels who, by reason of their 
relative size, ought to be farther back are forced into 
a nearer plane by the way in which they impinge upon 
the contours of the foreground figures and upon the 
frame. And as the planes of the picture thus intersect, 



so the attitudes of the figures in relation to one another 
are as strongly contrasted as possible. The straight- 
lined objects — the cross, the edge of the sarcophagus, 
the lances and pikes — divide the closely filled surface 
of the picture with thick dark strokes. And the bi- 
secting of the figures by all four sides of the frame 
enhances the resemblance to a veritable scene from life. 
Something, it is true, has been done to mitigate this 
impression as of a frightful reality. The gold ground, 
which by this time was unusual, and the inconceivable 
arrangement in an unreal place, label the picture as a 
work of ecclesiastical conventionalism; and that thought 
of the observer which, for the sake of greater reality, 
was avoided in the picture of the Baptist, is here ex- 
pressed by the attitude of the Christ. The apparent 
confusion of the composition is solved, however, by 
closer observation. The poses repeat themselves in 
regular rhythm, three of the figures are placed on either 
side of Christ, and in the centre the design approxi- 
mates to a triangle the point of which is formed by his 
head. But the spiritual meaning of the picture affects 
us more strongly than the harmony of the composition. 
We ask ourselves, Is it great art which so stuns us that 
we forget to demand material beauty? Certainly it 
is not art of a kind that can be measured by the usual 
tests, no more than is the late work of Rembrandt. It 
is a conflict, not a victorious procession like all the art 
of the south; and it knows only one kind of triumph — 
the triumph of extreme individuality. 

The painter who achieved so greatly lived only 
twenty -eight years. But the charm that marks artists 
who die young, their much-bepraised lovableness, does 



not irradiate his figure. The youthful traits in Geert- 
gen are his naively drastic way of expressing him- 
self, the intensity with which he feels suffering, and 
the simplicity and grandeur with which he portrays 
it, as though he had no time to condescend to small 

Among the pictures that resemble Geertgen's, one 
of the most beautiful is a St. Martin in the Johnson 
Collection at Philadelphia. It is too simple and too 
fine to be called the work of an imitator, but because of 
the somewhat divergent types and the more cursory 
treatment of the background it can hardly be ascribed 
to the master himself. It plainly shows the influence 
of one of those many statues of St. Martin that were pro- 
duced, especially in Belgium and the north of France, 
during the last third of the fifteenth century. In few 
of these, however, can the theme have been conceived 
with as much feeling or with such a sense of style; in 
few can so much dignity and sincerity have been con- 
ferred upon the saint, so much grace, in spite of all 
defects in drawing, upon the horse, or upon the beggar 
an air of gratitude so natural and yet so free from obse- 
quiousness. It is as though the artist wished to re- 
strict himself to the expression of the most important 
things, and considered all display of details unsuitable 
to a scene of the kind. 

Geertgen's advent impelled other artists to take a 
genuine interest in the psychological content of their 
themes. How highly the painters of his time esteemed 
his art is shown not only by the strong influence that 
it exerted in every direction but also by the copies that 
were soon made from his pictures. We have three such 





copies, dating from the first half of the sixteenth century. 
One, a sketchy copy of the Pieta in the Museum at 
Vienna, was made by Jan Mostaert, the principal 
painter of Haarlem in the earlier part of the century, 
as is proved by the fact that he added wing-pictures of 
his own composition. The two others, especially in- 
teresting as reproductions of lost originals, are the 
painting owned by Sir Charles Turner in London, with 
scenes from the life of St. Domenick, and the well- 
known triptych in the National Gallery at London with 
the Madonna and saintly women in a forest. 

The first of these two is a stately composition, of 
somewhat the same kind as the Amsterdam Holy 
Fellowship, where the apparition of the Madonna owes 
its impressiveness to the dignified yet simply human 
way in which it is conceived. The second is particu- 
larly remarkable for the naive fairy-tale poetry of the 
theme and the marvellous rendering of the mood of the 
forest. The unsymmetrical grouping and the irregular 
association of the different motives seem at first sight 
typically Dutch. But this artless transcript from scenes 
actually observed in nature is not without artistic effec- 
tiveness. How convincing is the naked awkward Christ 
Child whom the mother has carefully set upon a cushion 
on the ground so that he may take care of himself while 
she devotes herself to the perusal of a pious book ! How 
natural seems the complaisance of the holy women and 
the angels in amusing the babe, who accepts their minis- 
trations as a matter of course ! The saints have lost all 
trace of the stately bearing given them in pictures of 
the time of the van Eycks. They are persons from 
Geertgen 's own environment who behave as they think 



fit, unconcernedly following their own impulses. One 
of the angels has interrupted his flute-playing to bring 
the women a basket of fruit, another lets a stream of 
water from the spring fall upon a shell full of cherries, a 
third gathers flowers in his lifted mantle. The saints 
who wander in the shade between the trunks of the trees 
would be undistinguishable from aristocratic town 
ladies of the time if they were not leading a lamb by a 
cord in token of their saintliness. The orange trees 
and cypresses and the deep blue sky with its soft and 
feathery white clouds are rendered with remarkable 
truth, as though the artist were familiar with southern 

The close resemblance of the types to Geertgen's, 
and the originality of the conception, have led more 
than one critic to attribute this picture to the mas- 
ter himself, all the more because the two figures of 
St. John on the wings point to the patron saint of the 
order in whose house he dwelt at Haarlem. But keener 
eyes have recognized in the work a somewhat later 
Dutchman who had especially attached himself to elder 
masters — to Memling, to Geertgen, and still more to 
Quentin Metsys — and who made use in his own work 
of their imaginative powers. Friedlander has named 
him the Master of the Morrison Triptych, in reference 
to a painting owned by Mrs. Alfred Morrison in London, 
which is a free copy of Memling 's well-known triptych 
at Vienna. As he was not at all deficient in inventive- 
ness, very likely he altered Geertgen's composition, 
and it is possible that he gave its southern character to 
the landscape. However this may be, the picture is 
one of the most delightful creations of Early-Dutch art 



and one of the masterpieces among the Primitive paint- 
ings in the National Gallery at London. 



Were there no other proof of Geertgen's importance it 
might be divined from the number of pictures that re- 
veal his influence. In assigning these works to their 
places I must cite a long line of painters who are not 
always as delightful to study as is their great model. 

Six artists demand attention above all others as fol- 
lowers of Geertgen. Three of them must have been at 
work in Haarlem at the same time as he or but little 
later — the* Master of the Martyrdom of St. Lucy, the 
young Gerard David, and the Master of the Antwerp 
Triptych. The other three — the Master of Alkmaar, 
Jan Mostaert, and Jacob Cornelisz — won their promi- 
nent places in the art of Holland at a later time, in the 
first half of the sixteenth century, and it is therefore 
only their early work that concerns us here. 


As with all great artists so with Geertgen we find 
that some of his followers imitate their model so closely 
that on the surface their art is deceptively like his own, 
betraying the imitator only by a lesser intensity of 
feeling. It was a painter of this kind who produced 
the altar-piece representing the Martyrdom of St. 
Lucy, now in the Rijks Museum at Amsterdam. Three 
other paintings also came from his studio — a Cruci- 
fixion in the same collection, a similar picture now in 
the Archiepiscopal Museum at Utrecht (formerly in 



the Church of St. Vitus at Naarden), and a Descent 
from the Cross in the possession of Herr Figdor at 
Vienna. These pictures are unlike in execution, for 
the two Crucifixions, hastily painted, seem like the 
products of some great workshop. In general, an 
antiquated technique, which still uses gold and silver 
in the details and especially in the armour, alternates 
with a sketchy way of painting that derives, indeed, 
from Geertgen's manner but less surely hits the mark. 
The types, even to the reddish flesh-tones, are wholly 
taken from Geertgen, and the colours — the warm red 
conspicuous in the costumes, the red-brown that domi- 
nates in the foreground of the landscapes, and the 
greenish-brown farther back — also recall his pictures, 
although hotter and more uniform in tone. Probably 
the artist often copied figures from Geertgen's paint- 
ings, for some of the motives seem almost too original 
to be his own. In one case, indeed, in the Descent 
from the Cross, the borrowing can be demonstrated: 
the man on the ladder who holds a large hat in his hand 
is imitated from the kneeling masculine figure in 
Geertgen's Pieta at Vienna. Both the Crucifixions, 
where the Christ and the angels are most noticeably in 
Geertgen's manner, originated perhaps in borrowings 
from the central part of the Vienna altar-piece, now 
lost to us, for at a later time, in representations of 
the crucifixion by Jacob Cornelisz, we find similar 
motives which seem to have been taken from Geertgen's 
compositions. As is often the case with the imitators 
of great masters, the influence on the pupil is detri- 
mental in so far that he adopts the simplifying, sum- 
marizing method of his teacher without basing it upon 




a corresponding power and pregnancy in the rendering 
of the forms. Painters of the rank of this pupil of 
Geertgen's would perhaps have done admirably, within 
their limits, in the time of the van Eycks when they 
would not have been tempted to slight details. Geert- 
gen did away with this miniature-painting, and as a 
result the pictures of his followers look empty. On the 
other hand, the work of the one whom we are now con- 
sidering excels in decorative effect when seen from a 
distance, as the landscape, the architecture, the cos- 
tumes, and the human forms are all treated in broad 

The best picture of the group is the Martyrdom of 
St. Lucy, which makes its mark among the Primitives 
in the Rijks Museum by virtue of its strong colours — 
the warm reds and red-browns, the light notes of certain 
white costumes, and the lively blue of the sky. The 
painter tries as hard as he can to infuse his figures with 
spiritual feeling but lacks the power to make them 
lifelike. Those in the foreground especially have the 
look of dolls, and there is a touch of the marionette 
theatre in the way in which one executioner stabs the 
saint, and another, affected by the scene, wipes his eye 
while the old king stands morosely by. Very charming, 
however, are the accessory scenes of the background 
where the simplified treatment is better in place. The 
pair of lovers on the bench in front of the house, the 
feast that is visible through the window, and the ad- 
ministration of the sacrament to the anxious saint while 
a sorrowful introspective choir-boy assists, are portrayed 
in a lifelike way that reminds us of the later genre-paint- 
ers of Pieter Breughel's time. 



From the few pictures by this artist that are known 
to us we may gather that he was at work from 1480 
until shortly after 1500. During this time the Haarlem 
records mention two brothers, Mourijn and Claes 
Simonsz, who between 1485 and 1490 painted the wings 
of the high altar for the Church of St. Bavon. Mourijn, 
who is always named before Claes, appears to have 
been active for a longer time. First mentioned in 1473, 
he became a widower in 1478 and did not die until 
1509. Perhaps these brothers conducted the workshop 
in which the pictures that have just been mentioned 
were produced, for the use of gold seems to indicate 
one of the older painters of the day, and the brothers 
were explicitly instructed by their employers to use 
gold in the wings of the altar of St. Bavon. Moreover, 
another circumstance, of a less important kind, may 
support the identification. The early works of Jacob 
Cornelisz prove, almost to a certainty, that he was a 
pupil of the Master of the Martyrdom of St. Lucy; 
he was a native of Waterland, and van Mander wonders 
how so famous an artist could come from so poor a place; 
but, as we know from the records, the Simonsz brothers 
also came from Waterland, and therefore it is natural 
to assume that when Jacob Cornelisz betook himself 
to Haarlem he went to school to his fellow countrymen. 


With regard to the life of another of the artists 
whom Geertgen influenced, the greatest of all who fol- 
lowed in his steps, Gerard David, we are better in- 
formed. Like Dirk Bouts, David was a Dutchman by 
birth and active for a time in Haarlem but migrated 




to Flanders and lived there for the rest of his life. 
It is probable, however, that he worked at Haarlem 
for a briefer time than Bouts; and as his style was more 
strongly affected by the new environment at Bruges, 
there is even less warrant in his case than in the case 
of Bouts to claim him exclusively for Holland. He 
can hardly have been more than twenty-five years of 
age when he left his own country, and, less gifted by 
nature with imagination than Bouts, he was constrained 
to utilize the artistic products of his new home for the 
benefit of his own art. Nevertheless until the end of 
his life he retained Dutch characteristics ; and as we are 
fortunate enough to know a long series of the works of 
his Haarlem period we are able in some degree to isolate 
what is typically Dutch in his art. 

Dutch above all is the seriousness and the sluggish- 
ness of his figures, the shyness and taciturnity of their 
deportment — traits which in his riper period change 
to a noble dignity mingled with deep and tender relig- 
ious feeling. Dutch also is that lack of dramatic power 
which is one reason why he did not succeed much better 
than Bouts with such subjects as scenes of martyrdom, 
like his Christ Nailed to the Cross in the Antwerp 
Museum or the Flaying of Sisamnus in the Town Hall 
at Bruges. He is dryer and less spontaneous than 
Geertgen, colder in feeling, more impersonal, and more 
ecclesiastical. But on the other hand he can disasso- 
ciate himself better from the themes that he treats, and 
he pays more attention to the form in which he presents 
them — to symmetrical balanced composition, and a 
beautiful and decorative use of colour and line. His 
strength, like that of Dirk Bouts, lies in the domain of 

[ 75 ] 


the lyrical, but Bouts is infinitely fresher and more 
direct although, it must be confessed, more bourgeois. 
David is an aristocrat; and it is in devotional subjects, 
above all in portrayals of the Madonna and Child ac- 
companied by saintly women or angels, of the annun- 
ciation, and of the Virgin lamenting her son, that he 
achieves the greatest beauty. 

We get the impression that in the long run Geertgen's 
influence was not the best for him; indeed, it is seldom 
that one great artist can educate another. David was 
not fully conscious of his own personality until he 
found himself in the peaceful environment of Bruges 
where there were no such progressive elements as at 
Haarlem and the tradition of the great, almost im- 
personal art of the van Eycks was still alive. When he 
learned to know their work and that of the gentle 
lovable Memling, he began to recognize the value of the 
highest technical finish, and developed for himself the 
style of much distinction with which he created the 
last great examples of the splendid mediaeval art of 
Bruges. The works of his early Haarlem period lack 
this perfect completeness of execution for which Geert- 
gen cared little; and as they fall short of a convincing 
accent of personality they are rather meagre and empty 
in effect. It is true that some of them, particularly 
the St. Jerome of the Salting Collection in the National 
Gallery at London, testify that Geertgen had shown 
him the way toward a deeper psychical expressiveness; 
and perhaps to this influence, felt in his days of pupil- 
age, may be traced the impressive results which he 
afterward achieved in some of his work at Bruges. In 
externals his Haarlem pictures bear a close resemblance 





to Geertgen's. In the Christ Nailed to the Cross, the 
central part of which is in the possession of Lady Led- 
yard at Venice while the wings are at Antwerp, and in 
the wing-pictures, showing John the Baptist and St. 
Francis, in the von Kaufmann Collection at Berlin, the 
types are so like Geertgen's that this painter has often 
been thought of as their creator. The warm colour- 
ing also, with its brown shadows and reddish-brown 
flesh-tones, and the broadly handled foliage speak alto- 
gether of Geertgen; later on at Bruges they change in 
accordance with the much cooler colouring of Flemish 
pictures. Again, we sometimes find in Geertgen the 
stiff ranking of the figures with their heads at the same 
level, but the liking for it seems to have been more 
firmly rooted in the nature of the younger artist, and 
with its aid David developed the austere monumental 
effects that distinguish his later compositions. 

It has rightly been remarked that the dates of Geert- 
gen's career do not fit in with the belief that Gerard 
David was actually his pupil. It is much more per- 
missible to think that David, who came from the same 
place as Ouwater, was Ouwater's pupil and in his studio 
made acquaintance with Geertgen. It is nothing out 
of the common that the fellow-student should have 
exerted a greater influence than the master. Here in 
Holland we find the same thing at a later day: Rem- 
brandt's influence upon those who worked with him 
under Lastman, and especially upon Lievens, was much 
stronger than their master's. 

Some of the motives for his compositions David did, 
perhaps, take from Ouwater. For instance, there is 
preserved in the Johnson Collection at Philadelphia a 



version of Dirk Bouts' Adoration of the Magi which 
greatly resembles three of David's youthful works, now 
in Budapest, in the von Kaufmann Collection at Berlin, 
and in private ownership in France; and probably 
Ouwater transmitted to David this composition of 
Bouts'. Yet even here David reverted to Geertgen's 
conception, borrowing the idea of a nocturnal setting 
and using it in a richer fashion, and in the works that 
he produced at Bruges many years later we can still 
divine the strength of Geertgen's influence. Pictures 
which were not painted until ten years, perhaps, after 
David's change of residence, like the beautiful Adora- 
tion of the Magi at Brussels and the Tables of the 
Law in the Town Hall at Bruges, and which already 
show the assimilation of Flemish influences, still dis- 
play individual motives and colours that unquestion- 
ably trace back to the great Haarlem master. 


Gerard David had none of the dry humour that 
Geertgen occasionally reveals in the subordinate parts 
of his pictures. But the temperament of another of 
Geertgen's pupils, the painter of the little triptych in 
the Antwerp Museum which shows the Madonna in 
the centre and St. John and St. George on the wings, 
seems to have been in accord with the master's leaning 
toward the burlesque. To the same artist have rightly 
been attributed a Madonna with the Donors and St. 
Michael in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum at Berlin, 
and an Assumption of the Virgin at Bonn. He comes 
nearest to Geertgen in the Berlin picture where the 
narrow-eyed Mary is the very image of the great 



master's Madonna types. The St. Michael who pro- 
tects the donors with a grand gesture as he makes 
obeisance to the Child is also quite worthy of the 
master. To a greater degree than most of Geertgen's 
pupils this one strives to rise from petty genre-like 
conceptions to a monumental style. But he does not 
get beyond a good beginning; his handling is hard and 
wooden, and in the rendering of children in particular 
he drops into the grotesque. Their droll irreverent 
behaviour, the worldly appearance of his saints as the 
Antwerp pictures show it, and the self-conscious air of 
his Madonna, make it plain that religious sentiment is 
less strong with him than with Geertgen or even with 
Bouts and Ouwater, and that, original and powerful 
painter though he is, he falls in with the current ten- 
dency toward the secularizing of devotional pictures. 

While we cannot follow any of these pupils of Geert- 
gen's much beyond the end of the fifteenth century, 
excepting Gerard David whose development came to 
its full flowering in Flanders, the three others who have 
been named are best known to us in the subsequent 
phase of Dutch art, in the first third of the sixteenth 
century. The pictures of their youth are those that 
reveal the influence of Geertgen. 


This painter gets his name from the seven pictures in 
the Church of St. Lawrence at Alkmaar which represent 
the Seven Works of Mercy and bear the date 1507. 
He worked at Haarlem and has been identified — cor- 
rectly, it is probable — with Willem Cornelisz, the 
teacher of Jan Scoorel. On the testimony of the Alk- 



maar pictures it was thought that his art derived from 
Geertgen's, and this belief has been confirmed by an- 
other painting from his brush, a St. Anne with the 
Virgin and Child, recently in the hands of a dealer, 
which dates from about 1490 and is very evidently the 
work of a pupil of Geertgen's. 

It is a votive picture, as is shown by the two nuns 
who kneel in the foreground in front of their patrons, 
St. Francis and St. Stephen. In the centre Mary and 
her mother, seated on either side of the Christ Child, 
try to attract him by holding up, the one a bunch of 
grapes, the other a pear. The theme and the arrange- 
ment of this group are of frequent occurrence in Early- 
Dutch wood-carvings such as may be seen in the 
Museum at Utrecht and elsewhere; they appear in the art 
of Haarlem as early as in that of Antwerp and Brussels; 
and at a later period we find in the art of Leyden also a 
number of interpretations of the same theme with a 
similar grouping. The scene of our picture is set, in 
true Haarlem fashion, in a little garden encircled by 
low brick walls and laid out in terraces to make possible 
the placing of the personages one above the other. The 
most interesting figure is, perhaps, the John the Baptist 
in the upper left-hand corner, inspired, as is instantly 
apparent, by Geertgen's Baptist in the Wilderness. 
But what has happened to the grand creation of the 
great master? In the stead of a saint in profound 
meditation we see a quite cheerful one who plays with 
his lamb as though trying to put it through a course of 
training. The crossing of the feet, which with Geertgen 
is explained by the introspective, concentrated mood of 
the Baptist, is ignorantly and awkwardly copied. It 



is instructive, also, with Geertgen's carefully observed 
details in mind, to notice how impossibly lies the mantle 
that has been thrown over the saint's shoulders, and 
how unnaturally its folds are bunched on the ground 
— a typical example of the way in which Geertgen's 
large and significant conceptions become petty and 
trivial in the paraphrases of his pupils. The farther 
away this artist gets from Geertgen, the less possible 
it is to make friends with him. If he is really identical 
with that teacher of Jan Scoorel who, according to van 
Mander, made use in dishonourable ways of the more 
gifted among his pupils, we may almost read his char- 
acter in the figures in his pictures, surly of air with 
squinting, ill-natured glances. In his later works, for 
example, in the two large wing-pieces in the Rijks 
Museum at Amsterdam and the picture in the Johnson 
Collection, these ugly and unsympathetic types, angu- 
lar and wiry in movement, are especially numerous. 
Yet he proves himself an intelligent follower of Geertgen 
by the interest he takes in effects of light, showing 
particular pleasure in the rendering of cast shadows 
and sometimes using an astonishingly effective scheme 
of artificial lighting. In his stylized landscape side- 
scenes, with their steep rocks and overhanging stretches 
of meadow, he already suggests Scoorel, in his cool 
opalescent colouring, Lucas van Leyden. 


Jan Mostaert was the chief painter of Haarlem in the 
first half of the sixteenth century. In spite of all the 
charm of his art it proves that the local school had 
begun to decline and that Haarlem was about to resign 



its leadership to other places — to Leyden, where 
Engelbrechtsz and Lucas van Leyden were at work; 
to Utrecht, where Jan Scoorel had appeared ; to Amster- 
dam and the founder of its school, Jacob Cornelisz. 

Mostaert became court painter to the Regent Mar- 
garet, and with him the art of Haarlem rose from the 
simple burgher atmosphere, in which Geertgen breathed, 
to a more aristocratic world of gay clothes, graceful 
movements, and fresh bright colours. A strict con- 
centration upon the tasks of a narrow local circle gave 
way to a lively interest in the artistic life of neighbour- 
ing places and, indeed, of other lands, to a welcoming 
of foreign influences, Flemish and even Italian. In 
the 'thirties of the sixteenth century Mostaert still 
conformed to the stormily emotional style of the 
Antwerp painters, as is shown by his Crucifixion in 
the Johnson Collection; in the head of John the Baptist 
in the National Gallery at London he is swayed by 
Lombardic ideas ; and toward the end of his life he seems 
to have been swept altogether into the channels of 
Italian art, for van Mander cites a picture of a Banquet 
of the Gods, a subject well within the repertory of the 
Italianizing Haarlem painters of the second half of the 
century, such as Cornells Cornelisz and van Mander 
himself. Mostaert's long artistic career, which cov- 
ered sixty years, joins Geertgen 's great period to the 
period in which the ablest Haarlem painter of the 
seventeenth century, Frans Hals, was born. Just now, 
however, we have to take account only of Mostaert's 
early work, produced during the last decade of the 
fifteenth century. 

Two very attractive products of the Haarlem school 



— a Tree of Jesse in the Stroganoff Collection at 
Rome and the Sibyl and the Emperor Augustus in 
the Antwerp Museum — fall here into place, as both of 
them have been tentatively ascribed to Mostaert, the 
one by Friedlander, the other by Hulin. That the one 
and the other belong to the Haarlem school is made 
manifest by the setting of the scene in a courtyard, sur- 
rounded by low brick walls and gabled houses, where 
there is no lack of peacocks, storks, herons, and other 
much-loved creatures. The connection with Geertgen's 
art is again proclaimed, in the picture at Rome, by such 
types as the Madonna and the Child, by the warm 
red-brown colouring, and by the amusingly anecdotal 
manner, especially characteristic of Jan Mostaert, in 
which the story is set forth. Very original is the com- 
position of the Tree of Jesse. The prophets do not 
grow, head and shoulders only, from the twigs, as they 
do in all earlier representations of the kind, but sit 
at full length in daring gymnastic attitudes on the 
branches of a realistically painted oak tree on the top 
of which the Madonna is enthroned. The worthy 
graybeards of the Old Testament are transmuted into 
elegantly dressed young bucks who trifle with their 
swords and sceptres and stick their heads coquettishly 
through the maze of foliage. Only two of the prophets, 
the oldest of all, have not joined the climbers but stand 
on either side of the hoary Isaiah where he has fallen 
asleep under the tree, as though they were listening to 
the youthful David who sits on the lowest branch play- 
ing his harp with a sentimental air. The tendency to 
romanticism, to the self-conscious expression of feel- 
ing, which here at the turning of the century meets 



us for the first time, began within a few years to de- 
velop among the painters of the Low Countries into 
a deliberate exaggeration of sentiment, into actual man- 

In a pleasing form Mostaert shows this tendency 
again in his Antwerp picture. The courtly environ- 
ment of the Emperor Augustus, the gay bustle of the 
palace courtyard, is admirably caught. At a respectful 
distance the guards, in their fantastic Landsknecht cos- 
tumes, stand around in groups or promenade in the 
loggia of the palace or along the beautifully tended 
paths. Near the emperor, and holding his richly 
adorned hat, kneels a page in a costume plentifully 
embroidered with the imperial initial. The sibyl also 
differs radically from the good bourgeois figure in the 
earlier representation of the theme that we found at 
Frankfort. She seems entirely at home at court and is 
attended by elegant dames who converse with affected 
gestures about the miracle of the apparition. At the 
back of the courtyard we discover a little genre-picture : 
a young dandy, fashionably attired, sits nonchalantly on 
the balustrade in front of one of the palaces, amusing 
himself, apparently, with a servant-maid in a red dress 
and a white apron who is drawing up the bucket from 
the well. 

To-day a picture of this sort has a special attraction, 
for we are not accustomed to finding in Primitive 
painters a consciousness of their own naivete — a sign 
of the coming of Renaissance culture. We may think 
that when Jan Mostaert conceived Biblical and legen- 
dary stories as multicoloured pictures of the court in his 
own vicinity it was because a naive religious sentiment 




led him to translate the old tales into the current 
vernacular; but it was much more truly because he 
liked better to study the life of a contemporary court 
than to ponder upon the content of the story to be 
pictured. With the great elder masters, with van der 
Weyden, Bouts, or Geertgen, we also find contempo- 
rary costumes but only on the accessory figures, and 
all thought of the period is secondary to a concern for 
the idealistic significance of the representation. The 
more exactly, in the progressive development of paint- 
ing, the fashions of the time are reproduced, the farther 
religious significance departs from the simple homely 
conceptions of elder days. This may be still more 
distinctly seen in the work of Jacob Cornelisz, the 
latest of the painters who can be described as under the 
influence of Geertgen. 


Jacob Cornelisz was about of an age with Jan Mos- 
taert, but as the more popular painter of the two he seems 
more advanced than the conservative court painter. 
No juvenile work of his is known to us, but the four rep- 
resentations of the Crucifixion in the Rijks Museum at 
Amsterdam, the Archiepiscopal Museum at Utrecht, 
the Johnson Collection at Philadelphia, and the Liech- 
tenstein Gallery at Vienna, seem to belong to his earlier 
period and probably were painted not long after 1500. 
As has been said already, the connection between these 
compositions and those of the Master of the Martyr- 
dom of St. Lucy is so evident that we must consider Cor- 
nelisz as a pupil of this painter. Therefore his relation to 
Geertgen was indirect, yet it is clearly apparent, not in 



these paintings only, but in the work of his whole life- 
time. The oval faces of the children in the pictures of 
the Crucifixion, the profiles with short snub noses, the 
wooded backgrounds with many-coloured little figures 
in stilted attitudes, the warm brownish flesh-tones, and 
the frequently recurring red costumes, all trace back to 
Geertgen. The spirit of his teaching seems to speak 
also in Cornelisz' sense of the humour of children, gro- 
tesquely shown in an altar-piece now at Naples, of 
about the year 1512, and in the Madonna pictures at 
Antwerp and Berlin. Finally, the love for a naive 
portrayal of various episodes in the background of a 
picture no longer strikes us as novel, nor does the ro- 
mantic air bestowed upon youthful saints. The es- 
sential difference between this artist and his elders is 
a result of the passage of time. Massed composition 
now takes the place of a concentration of interest upon 
a few figures. The whole foreground is filled with 
figures, and the remaining space back into the depth of 
the picture is developed chiefly by their aid. Instead 
of a dramatically accentuated incident we have the 
actions of crowds of people among whom the princi- 
pal personage is often hardly to be discovered. Such 
arrangements, which demand perhaps greater execu- 
tive ability than the earlier kind of composition but 
not the same intense degree of feeling, were employed 
by all Dutch artists who came under the influence of 
the Renaissance. They belong to a new period with 
which we are not here concerned. 

With the beginning of the sixteenth century the 
Haarlem school lost its unique position in Holland. 




The followers of Geertgen still produced work of im- 
portance in the elaboration of accessories and the 
portrayal of graceful anecdotes, thus furthering the 
development of genre-painting; but in all other di- 
rections — in portraiture, in the depiction of architect- 
ure, in landscape — they were, if anything, retrograde 
as compared with Geertgen. The painters who made of 
other cities independent centres of art seem, however, 
to have had Haarlem as their point of departure: 
Jacob Cornelisz, as we have seen, was a pupil of the 
Master of the Martyrdom of St. Lucy, Jan Scoorel of 
that Willem Cornelisz who was probably identical with 
the Master of Alkmaar; and the first of the great paint- 
ers of Leyden, Cornelis Engelbrechtsz, was at the start 
— as for example in his St. Anne with the Virgin and 
Child at Amsterdam — in touch with the art of the 
Haarlem school. 




OUENTIN METSYS stands in contrast toDurer 
somewhat as Erasmus to Luther — an aristo- 
cratic intelligence sensitive to charm of every 
kind in contrast to the primitive, blunt, and rugged 
nature of a man in heartfelt sympathy with the plain 
people whose very embodiment he is. 

A new faith was fermenting in the minds of strong 
men, great and simple in their modes of thought, who 
had risen from the lower walks of life, and the masses 
were staking their lives upon the same ideals. Mean- 
while, in a world apart, the culture of a highly polished 
upper class was flowering in an art which, nourished 
upon experience and knowledge of every kind, played 
with forms and colours in a self-complacent dainty way 
that bordered upon affection. The spirit of this culture, 
which possessed almost every artist of the Netherlands, 
of Flanders, and of the Lower Rhine countries, revealed 
itself differently, according to the temperament of the 
individual and the character of the race. Mild and 
charming with the painters of Cologne — the Master of 





St. Bartholomew and the Master of St. Severinus ■ — 
harsher and less graceful with the Dutchmen Lucas van 
Leyden and Cornells Engelbrechtsz, livelier and more 
extravagant with the Flemings, everywhere it betrayed 
itself by the same effort to express a subtile elegance and 
the greatest possible degree of sensibility. 

More than any one else Quentin Metsys seems to have 
been swayed by this spirit. Opalescent tones melting 
into one another envelop the nervous play of facial 
expression and gesture in his etherealized personages. 
Women of a goddess-like delicacy, with almond eyes and 
long slim fingers, live a mystical life among transparent 
glassy columns and carpets with exotic embroideries. 
Diaphanous veils are wound in their hair, sparkling 
jewels encircle bosom and wrist, golden ornaments and 
carvings heighten the splendour of thrones and canopies. 
The men have an air of distinction, their compressed 
lips show intelligence, their gestures a consciousness 
of their own greatness. They know how to speak wisely, 
to bear themselves proudly. It seems strange enough 
to find wild rude fellows with hanging noses and wide 
mouths suddenly appearing in this select circle, to the 
apparent destruction of all harmony. But in fact this 
startling contrast has a salutary effect. At one stroke 
uncouth Flemish vehemence cools an atmosphere over- 
heated by excessive sensibility. The reaction in the 
mood of the creative artist is, however, so violent that 
he now leans as far toward caricature as he did before 
toward sentimentality. 

Often and with good reason Quentin Metsys has 
been compared to Leonardo da Vinci. In his work as 
in Leonardo's the contours are effaced by filmy shadings ; 



he, too, takes pleasure in giving his figures a feminine 
delicacy, even to a weakening of the masculine type; 
and with him also reaction means the depicting of 
monsters. But while Leonardo, as an Italian, had an 
inborn distinction and a nature that demanded modera- 
tion in all things, Quentin Metsys, striving for mastery 
in one thing, often lost the feeling for another. 

Moreover, the work of the southern artist was known 
to the northerner. This is evident in certain drawings 
in the Uflizi at Florence which are there attributed to 
Pieter Breughel the Elder, but are much more probably 
the work of Quentin Metsys and are doubly noteworthy 
as a complete revelation of his contradictory char- 
acteristics. They might be studies for a kirmess with 
dancing carousing peasants — a picture that would 
have been unspeakably grotesque. A bald and beard- 
less, misshapen old man with an abnormally large 
head and spindle shanks is dancing, a satanic smile on 
his lips. Another, running with outstretched hands, 
throws his skirts to the wind. A third, who looks like 
an old toper, staggers drunkenly about with tucked- 
up sleeves. Again, a horrible trio of old men are drink- 
ing together; the dreadful long nose of one of them dips 
into the contents of the cup that he is draining with 
indescribable gusto, while the others • — the standing one 
holding a jug, the second crouching on the ground — 
are trying with bizarre grimaces to take the cup away 
from him. And on a fifth sheet an old man with a 
cudgel is striking at a man lying on the ground and 
clothed only in a scanty mantle and a loin-cloth. 

Such drawings reveal a remarkable mental state. 
What a contrast between these grimacings and these 





artistically managed gestures, between these coarse 
contours and the nervous touch that tremulously 
follows every hair and every wrinkle! The same 
contrast appears in other works by the same hand, as 
in. the grotesque couple, on a panel belonging to the 
Countess Pourtales in Paris, composed of a handsome 
artful affected minx and a horrible old man who makes 
coarse advances to her, and in the Adoration of the Magi 
formerly in the Rodolphe Kann Collection at Paris and 
now in the Metropolitan Museum at New York, which 
shows a delicate Madonna, a diminutive Child with 
small refined features, a grizzled old king, and a throng 
of attendants grotesque and sensual of face. There is a 
certain kinship with the satires of Erasmus in these 
pictures, altogether different in spirit from the outbursts 
of wholesome bourgeois humour in a Diirer or a Luther. 

It is known that Diirer came into personal relations 
with the cultivated circles of Antwerp. He drew the 
great scholar of Rotterdam busy with a sharply pointed 
pen over some intricate piece of work, and received 
in payment from Erasmus a Spanish mantilla. He also 
visited "Master Quentin" in his home, and we can 
imagine how he laid his knotted fingers in the nervous 
hand of the slender Antwerp painter, how he must have 
marvelled at the elegant fittings of the studio. In his 
journal he expresses his wonder at the furnishings of the 
guild-house of the painters of Antwerp, at the silverware 
and the choice viands with which their table was spread; 
and after his visit to St. Michael's Abbey he exclaims : 
"In Antwerp they are not sparing of such things, for there 
they have plenty of money." It is touching indeed 
when at one place he remarks that, for the entry of 



Charles V, the painters and cabinet-makers of Antwerp 
had erected a triumphal arch at a cost of four thousand 
guilders, and immediately afterward records among his 
scanty earnings the sale of sixteen prints of his Little 
Passion at four guilders apiece. 

We can hardly wonder that at Antwerp the Ger- 
man artist, avid of new impressions, was touched by 
artistic influences which he turned to good account. 
For example, his St. Jerome, now in the museum at 
Lisbon, has an affinity with the conception of Metsys. 
The inspiration is generally thought to have come 
from Diirer and, in fact, there are numerous more or 
less faithful Dutch copies of Durer's picture, which 
remained for several years at Antwerp; in especial, 
variants of it were constantly produced in the studios 
from which came the group of artists who go by the 
name of the pseudo Herri met de Bles, and in others 
which had relations with the Master of the Death 
of the Virgin.* Nevertheless the original conception 
must have been Quentin Metsys'. From his Money 
Changers, now in the Louvre, which was painted be- 
fore Durer's visit to Antwerp, it is only a short step 
to the half-length of St. Jerome. It is true that no 
original of Metsys' composition has yet been discovered, 
but there are half-length representations of the saint, 
indoors and out of doors, painted by Metsys' followers 
— Marinus van Roymerswaele, Jan van Hemessen, and 
others — which stand much nearer to his manner of 
conception than to Durer's. 

* To give a few among dozens of examples I may cite the pictures at Carlsruhe, at 
Schleissheim, and at Genoa (Palazzo Bianco), and those in the Uffizi, in the John- 
son Collection at Philadelphia, and in the collection of Dr. Stillwell of New 




However this may be, whether it was Durer or 
Metsys who inspired the other, it is precisely in the 
picture where superficially they draw nearest to each 
other that their difference in character most clearly 
appears. Compare Durer's picture at Lisbon with one, 
recently discovered and attributed by Friedlander to 
Metsys and now in Mr. Johnson's collection, which 
shows St. Jerome at half-length standing against a 
landscape background. Durer portrays a passionately 
studious scholar striving for a knowledge of the truth, 
a gloomy ascetic with a wild and staring glance who 
tries by sheer force of will to penetrate the world of 
thought. He has arrived at a conviction of the noth- 
ingness of existence and endeavours to impose it upon 
others by insistently pointing to the skull. With 
Quentin Metsys, on the other hand, we see a peaceful 
monk, absorbed in quiet prayer, who half sadly, half 
ecstatically gives himself up to the mysteries of religion, 
and who has come to terms with the world in a re- 
signed yet not wholly joyless spirit. With Diirer 
every line, every detail appears as clearly and sharply 
as does the determined mood of the saint. With 
Metsys everything melts into soft forms, into a mystic 
twilight from which gleam out only the deep red of the 
saint's mantle and the pale tone of the dying sunset. 
Metsys is less forceful than Diirer but more subtile 
in the rendering of delicate shades of feeling, and is 
therefore particularly well suited to our time which has 
a special liking for these psychological semitones. No 
one else among the elder Dutchmen abandons himself 
so gladly to dreamy mystical sensations and unusual 
delights of line and hue. None understands as well as 

[ 93 J 


Metsys how to make strong splendours of colour shine 
through a thin veil of mist, or how to paint the tremu- 
lous surface of life so that we see the blood running in 
the veins, so that we feel the breath that comes from 
the slightly parted mouth, and divine the movement of 
the lips, the trembling of the nostrils, and the quivering 
of the nerves in the tips of the fingers. 




NOT many of those among the genre-painters of 
Holland whose main province was the landscape 
with animals rose above mediocrity. Five 
of them — Albert Cuyp, Paul Potter, Isack van Ostade, 
Adriaen van der Velde, and Philip Wouwerman — have 
always, and of right, borne the most famous names. 
But because of the general change in taste from the 
romanticism of the middle of the last century to a love 
for the sincere unvarnished interpretation of nature, 
certain of their fellows, such as Berchemand Lingelbach, 
Dujardin, van Bergen, Both, and Pynacker, who until 
about thirty years ago were ranked as high, please us 
much less to-day. When an exceptional personality 
like Rembrandt's does not absolutely impose upon us 
its own way of looking at nature, we would rather read 
sentiment into a picture ourselves than accept it as 
prescribed by an artist of lesser genius. The Dutch 
painters, once so greatly prized, who depicted Italian 
landscapes virtually from hearsay, had not enough 
imaginative power to make their dreams of the south 

[ 95 ] 


convincing. Sentimentality took its place, and well- 
endowed artists, who might have done admirably in 
simple transcripts from their own surroundings, pro- 
duced untruthful sugary pictures which in their lack 
of substance ill-beseem the strong and sober Dutch 

In times of changing taste, however, we are apt to go 
too far in the way of elimination. To give an instance, 
two of the five great painters just named, Adriaen van 
der Velde and Philip Wouwerman, had almost been 
condemned when, fortunately, it was discovered that 
they had joined the company of the merely clever only 
at times, in their later years, and that both had pro- 
duced masterly works of a genuine Dutch sort — van 
der Velde in his unpretentious silvery paintings of 
forests or pastures, done between 1657 and 1661, and 
Wouwerman in his pictures of sand-dunes, often almost 
void of figures, and occasionally in his winter land- 

It is much easier to reject what no longer appeals to 
us than to discover works of other kinds which may 
satisfy our new needs. Yet the storehouse of the past 
is so rich that the seekers of every period may make their 
own discoveries, and find substitutes for the famous 
figures that are gradually sinking back into obscurity. 
Two painters who, with the art-lovers of to-day, may 
well take the place of such as Berchem or Lingelbach are 
Govert Camphuysen and his brother, Raphel Dircksz 

As regards the history of the Camphuysen family, 
Bredius and Moes have done good service in their 
thorough treatise published in Oud Holland in 1903. 



So carefully have they considered the work, not only 
of Govert, but also of an elder pair of brothers, Rafel 
and Jochem Camphuysen, that in respect to details of 
fact I may here confine myself to a brief summary. 

Two generations are brought to our notice. Rafel 
and Jochem Camphuysen, working from about 1620 
to 1660, belong to the first period of the Dutch art of 
the seventeenth century, the time of Frans Hals and 
van Goyen. Rafel painted winter scenes and pictures 
of canals in the style of the period, simple, colourless, 
and definite; Jochem, by preference, woodland scenes 
at an evening hour, somewhat in the spirit of Aert 
van der Neer but harder and emptier in drawing and 
composition. One of the few examples of Jochem's 
work that is signed in full was formerly in the Dahl 
Collection in Diisseldorf and is now in the Johnson 
Collection in Philadelphia. 

As neither of these brothers is an important repre- 
sentative of van Goyen's period neither excites more 
than a passing interest. The family of artists to which 
they belonged accomplished its best in the work of 
Govert Camphuysen, a really important artist, and 
of his brother, Raphel Dircksz, a painter still quite 
unknown, for they were at work when Dutch painting 
was in its splendid maturity, in the time of Rembrandt. 
Although Raphel Dircksz was the elder of the two, the 
witness of his style and the fact that he lived twenty 
years longer than Govert incline us to place him in the 
third period of the seventeenth-century art of Holland. 
We shall find him an admirable exponent of the Dutch 
classic style, still too little esteemed, of the sixth and 
seventh decades of the century. Thus the Camphuysen 



family illustrates in miniature the development of Dutch 

The main fact in Govert's career is that he lived for 
ten years in Sweden. Born at Gorkum in 1623 or 
1624, at the age of twenty-two he moved to Amsterdam 
where he stayed about six years. Then followed the 
years in Sweden, from about 1652 to 1663, and then a 
second period, of ten years, at Amsterdam, ending with 
his death in 1672. 

It is not recorded why he went to Sweden, a country 
then virtually unknown to the painters of Holland, 
but we may guess how it happened. As a result of the 
Baltic trade of the Dutch their architects had won a 
footing in Sweden as well as in the other Baltic coun- 
tries, and in the year 1652 one of the greatest of them, 
Jost Vinckboons, the creator of the Trippenhuis at 
Amsterdam, was called to Stockholm to take charge 
of the erection of the Ridderhuset, the senate chamber 
of the aristocracy. Although he stayed only four years 
he impressed his genius upon the Ridderhuset which, 
except for the addition of a French roof, was completed 
according to his plans. Perhaps the most beautiful 
Dutch building in any foreign country, it is one of the 
chief ornaments of a city rich in important seventeenth- 
century structures that show a Dutch influence. As 
Govert Camphuysen probably came to Sweden in the 
same year as Vinckboons and, like Vinckboons, must 
have had relations with the aristocracy, for we soon 
hear of commissions from the court, it is natural to 
suppose that the Amsterdam painter was directly or 
indirectly induced by the Amsterdam architect to make 
the journey to the northern city. 



It can hardly have been by virtue of his personal 
merits only that a simple painter of pasture-lands and 
cattle won a footing in a foreign land and even attained 
to honour at a foreign court. More probably his success 
was largely due to the high repute which in his time 
Dutch art enjoyed in stranger lands. The influence 
that the art of any country exerts beyond its own 
borders is usually a result of over-production. In the 
middle years of the seventeenth century Holland pos- 
sessed such a multitude of artists that she could spare of 
her wealth to the foreigner and, indeed, was obliged to 
do so if her painters were to gain a livelihood. At 
home, private and public buildings were pretty well 
filled with pictures and, as commissions fell off, the 
artist was all the more ready to welcome the call of 
foreign countries. On the other hand, these countries 
gladly received the influence of Dutch art, for it had 
then attained to heights whence it was visible from 
afar, and was beginning to serve not merely local needs 
but those of the whole civilized world. Sweden was 
not the only country visited by Dutch artists. They 
streamed at the same time into Germany and England, 
France and Italy, Denmark and Norway, and even into 
regions beyond the sea. To name only a few, we find 
one still-life painter, Jan Weenix, at Diisseldorf, and 
another, Hendrik Fromentiou, at the court of Berlin. 
Ter Borch was busy at the peace conference at Mini- 
ster in the year 1648. In England Dutch portrait 
painters in particular — Jansen van Ceulen, My tens, 
Hanneman, Lely — quickly achieved success. France 
showed favour to genre-painters who took their themes 
from the life of the court, painters like Caspar Netscher 



or Jacob van Loo, the founder at Paris of the family of 
artists of this name. The portrait painters Jacob 
Wuchters and Juriaen Ovens and also the younger 
Karel van Mander, a painter of heroic compositions, 
were at work in Denmark. And to Norway had already 
drifted Allaert van Everdingen, an excellent landscape 
painter whose impressions of the north reacted upon 
Dutch art in the work of Jacob Ruisdael. It is not 
strange, therefore, that Camphuysen should have ad- 
ventured in a region where he may well have seen wide 
opportunities opening before him as the first representa- 
tive of the pictorial art of Holland. 

The course of his development must have been deter- 
mined during the six years that he had previously spent 
at Amsterdam. Here he must have come into relations 
with Paul Potter, with whose work his own has so often 
been confused that more than half his pictures are still 
mistakenly assigned to Potter. It is true that Potter 
was by three years the younger, but he developed very 
early and appears to have been of a simple, self-sufficient 
nature. Nor need we assume that in the relations of 
the two artists Potter alone had anything to give. 
Perhaps they jointly formed their style. At all events, 
in many of their pictures they are much alike as regards 
the peasant types, the occasional preference for a 
plein air kind of treatment, and the lively stippled 
handling, each retaining, nevertheless, his own artistic 
personality — Potter's narrow but within its limits 
well-rounded and complete; Camphuysen's deficient in 
certain directions but studious, experimental. Camp- 
huysen may have been influenced also by the precocious 
Isack van Ostade, who was of about the same age, even 





though Ostade lived at Haarlem, for the currents of 
art flowed freely back and forth between that city 
and Amsterdam. Occasionally Camphuysen's outdoor 
scenes, like the Halt at the Tavern, but more especially 
his interiors flooded with a golden light, remind us in 
theme and in conception of Ostade's more na'ive and 
more charming art. With Cuyp, again, Camphuysen 
has sometimes been confused, as in a small portrait 
group in an open-air setting in the museum at Stock- 
holm. There are, in fact, resemblances in the foliage 
and in the way that the light falls on the trees, but of a 
kind as easily explained by a current tendency evident 
in almost all the landscapes of Rembrandt's time as 
by a direct relationship between Camphuysen and the 
Dordrecht painter who worked at a distance from the 
cosmopolitan activities of Amsterdam. 

As only a very few of Camphuysen's pictures are 
dated, little more can be said about his development. 
To his first Amsterdam period probably belong most 
of his kitchen and stable interiors, two of which, ac- 
cording to Bredius, are dated 1645 and 1650, and also 
perhaps some of his landscapes, particularly those, like 
The Farm near the Village, owned by Mr. Johnson, and a 
similar painting sold at auction by Frederick Muller at 
Amsterdam in 1912, where the technique is Paul Potter's. 
To his Swedish period may presumably be assigned all 
the works that are now in Sweden, listed to the number of 
twelve in Olof Granberg's valuable treatise on the pri- 
vate collections of the country. They include all sorts 
of subjects — stable interiors, peasant brawls, pictures 
of poultry, cattle-pieces, and even one portrait, with 
which must be placed the portrait group in the Stock- 



holm Museum, painted (as it bears the date 1661) toward 
the end of Camphuysen's stay in Sweden. To the 
last decade of his life doubtless belong important works 
like the great woodland landscape in the Hermitage at 
St. Petersburg, the Halt at the Tavern in the Johnson 
Collection, and the Pasture near the Castle in the Wallace 
Collection at London — carefully composed canvases, all 
conceived in the same mood, where the figures are better 
proportioned and less rude in effect than in earlier ex- 
amples, and more often represent persons of an upper 

As was the case with all the important painters of 
Rembrandt's time, Camphuysen did not confine himself 
to a single narrow range of subjects so that they be- 
came a mere basis for the application of a good formula. 
Instead of that exaltation of the exterior aspect above 
all else which had prevailed in the time of Frans Hals, 
the pictorial content came again to the front. Great 
masters like Rembrandt treated it imaginatively; lesser 
ones, who had to depend more upon direct observation, 
thought to make their art more interesting by varying 
their themes. Thus Camphuysen seizes upon all the 
diverse incidents of the rural life of Holland, painting 
kitchen and stable interiors, tavern scenes, meadow 
landscapes, park views, cattle markets, farmyards, 
chickens and ducks, and portraits. Even a bear fight 
and an equestrian portrait are named as among his 
legacies. Nor can it be said that one kind of subject- 
matter or another suited him best — only, that he was 
perhaps least successful in portraiture and that he was 
particularly good in landscapes with cattle, although 
in other directions he sometimes did equally well. 



Instead of enumerating the many pictures that we 
have from his hand (a task in the main already ac- 
complished by Bredius), I shall merely try to give, 
by means of a few diverse examples, a general idea of 
his art. 

In America he has found a good friend, for Mr. 
Johnson owns seven excellent specimens of his work, 
some of them almost unique of their kind. One of 
the most unusual is the remarkable picture of a Hen 
Alarmed by a Cat, where, sitting on her nest in a 
stable with a couple of chicks near by, the white hen 
looks around, apprehensive and angry, at the insolent 
intruder inquisitively thrusting his head through an 
opening in the wall. Here Camphuy sen's individual 
point of view clearly appears if we compare him with 
such painters as Hondecoeter and Albert Cuyp, the 
first that occur to mind in connection with pictures of 
poultry. He chooses a more dramatic moment than 
Cuyp whose chickens flock together undisturbed by 
enemies, and concentrates more than Hondecoeter 
whose multitudinous fowls are usually flying wildly 
about, frightened by a descending bird of prey. The 
colouring also is different, less golden than with Cuyp, 
less diversified than with Hondecoeter. The white of 
the hen and the chicks, the light coming in at the win- 
dow, and the reflections on the shining utensils stand 
out in strong relief from the prevailing warm brown 
tone. The broad and vigorous touch, as well as the 
incidence of the light, reminds us of Rembrandt, from 
whose influence in the middle years of the century no 
one at Amsterdam could escape. But all his own, I 
may repeat, is the remarkable dramatic quality of 



Camphuysen's picture, where not only the predatory 
spirit of the cat, but also his predatory attitude, is sug- 
gested by the portrayal of the head alone, and the 
alarm of the experienced hen is delightfully contrasted 
with the simple curiosity of the inexperienced chick. 

The finest of Camphuysen's interiors are perhaps in 
the museum at Brussels and the Carstanjen Collection 
at Munich, but I prefer to cite, as showing more fully 
his characteristic tendencies, the one in the Museum 
at Copenhagen, a domestic scene in a peasant's cottage 
where a single great barn-like room serves as living- 
room, kitchen, and stable. In the foreground sits a 
woman near a cradle which she is rocking by means of 
a cord. Not far away the fire is burning in the chim- 
ney-place and a cat is warming herself. On the other 
side of the picture the father is throwing fodder to the 
two cows that stand in the stall. Sunlight, streaming 
in at the open door, illumines the scene and especially 
the still-life features of the foreground. 

There is good reason why this picture should resemble 
in its composition the work of more than one of the 
ablest painters of the time, for the artists of Holland 
were so closely associated in cities separated by such 
short distances that, especially in this most prolific 
period, the ties between them were astonishingly close. 
The intimate expression of domesticity in Camphuy- 
sen's scene reminds us of Pieter de Hooch, the rendering 
of the lofty barn with its brown shadows and the care- 
ful drawing of its framework suggest the two Ostades, 
and the still-life of the foreground, which consists of a 
copper kettle, an old Delft dish, a jug of the stoneware 
of Cologne, and a pendant beef's liver very brightly 

f 104 ] 


coloured, recalls the treatment of such things in the 
best early pictures of van der Poel or in those master- 
pieces in the grand style of Dutch genre-painting, the 
small interiors of Willem Kalf. The individuality of 
Camphuysen lies in the blending of these diverse ele- 
ments into an integral whole presenting a fresh version 
of the most modest kind of plebeian existence — a ver- 
sion which lacks, indeed, the delicate poetry of Pieter de 
Hooch but, on the other hand, has none of the coarse- 
ness of most of the Dutch painters of peasant life. 

Nowhere has the art of genre-painting been better 
understood than in Holland, where a leisurely episodi- 
cal method of exposition suited the sedate temperament 
of the artist. Avoiding the attempt to force the imagi- 
nation of the observer into sympathy with a lively 
episode, he gives his theme only such an amount of 
interest as may lead the eye hither and thither into 
the various corners of the picture and thus apprise it 
of the full beauty of the artistic interpretation. What 
remains in our memory of the actual incidents in the 
pictures of Ostade, of Metsu, of Ter Borch? Nothing; 
nothing more than a recollection of delightful afternoon 
moods, of gay costumes, of charming gestures. Camp- 
huysen also was a master in the art of choosing the 
right theme to serve as a starting-point for a fine atmos- 
pheric rendering of nature. A good example is a pic- 
ture as plentifully enlivened with figures as the Halt at 
the Tavern in the Johnson Collection. 

A heavy farm-wagon carrying a merry company has 
stopped before a cottage that nestles cozily under the 
trees. Two couples in the wagon have already provided 
themselves with wine, while the man of the third pair, 

[105 1 


helped by the girl, is climbing back into his place. 
The fiddler on the driver's seat is playing his little tune, 
and the driver is feeding the horses. While the host 
disappears into the house with the wine-can, the host- 
ess busies herself with a new arrival, a well-dressed 
gallant on horseback to whom she is handing up a 
glass of beer. It is a harmless episode without dra- 
matic point, invented simply to give interest to the 
interpretation of an open-air summer mood. There- 
fore the painter has spent less time and pains in char- 
acterizing the thick-skulled peasants, awkward of gesture 
and good-humoured of face, than in rendering the golden 
rays that fall through the dark green foliage, the bright 
red and yellow costumes vividly relieved against the 
warm brown shadows around the cottage, and the soft 
tones of the evening sky. 

While this picture shows Camphuysen as a rival of 
painters like Isack Ostade and Cuyp, with whom the 
Halt at the Tavern was a favourite subject, a simpler 
composition of a wholly different kind — the Pool in 
the Forest, now in the Hermitage at St. Petersburg — 
points in another direction. A luxuriant oak wood 
surrounds a quiet pond on the borders of which two 
cows are grazing. In the shadow of a mighty oak 
that mirrors its trunk in the water two men are draw- 
ing in their nets, while on the other side of the picture 
an aristocratic sportsman on horseback examines, as 
a page holds it up to him, a hare that he has shot. 
The portrayal of a forest pool recalls the most beautiful 
works of Jacob Ruisdael, dating from the seventh 
decade of the century; the incident of the horseman 
conversing with a person on foot often occurs in the 

[ 106 ] 


pictures of Adriaen van der Velde; the cows and the 
treatment of the background of forest also suggest this 
painter, and the technique is most nearly related to 
Potter's. But, once more, everything is adapted, is 
independently worked over. The passage of bright 
light where the rider sits on the white horse is delight- 
fully contrasted with the mysterious darkness around 
the pool, and very far from commonplace are the sil- 
very tone of the landscape and the delicate combina- 
tion of the purple dresses with the bluish green of the 
trees and the gray of the sky. 

Finally, we have still another side of Camphuysen's art 
in The Farm near the Village, perhaps his most beautiful 
picture, which Mr. Johnson owns. It is one of the few 
Dutch pictures of farmstead or pasture where human fig- 
ures are almost dispensed with in order that the great 
unvarying features of nature may be emphasized — a 
conception peculiarly in accord with our modern pref- 
erences. Nor would it be easy to find a composition 
embracing in a more typical way the pictorial motives of 
Dutch landscape. Here is the large, almost square 
cottage of the province of North Holland with the 
hipped roof thatched with straw which covers a single 
lofty room such as we saw in Camphuysen's cottage 
interior. In the foreground we have the placid canal 
with its clear reflections and narrow bridge of planks. 
On the other side of the house, beyond the elms, runs 
the raised highroad back of which the sailboats emerge 
as though floating over the meadows. Still farther 
away stand the low gabled houses of the village and, 
raised on its high substructure, the windmill, sign and 
symbol of the land of Holland. All this is subordinated 



to the meadow in the foreground where the light-brown 
spotted cows look as though they grew organically from 
the brownish-green grass. And over this simple homely 
bit of nature spreads the vaporous silver-clouded sky, 
wrapping the narrow strip of land in a luminous veil 
of air. 

The small weaknesses of excellent painters are usually 
more evident than the greater faults of those whose 
mediocre gifts enable them to treat all things with equal 
skill but without artistic charm. So we see at once 
that Camphuysen is in some respects inferior to painters 
like Berchem and Lingelbach. He is ponderous, slow 
to apprehend, and weak in imagination. He is unwill- 
ing to attempt more than a direct transcript from nature, 
and is often unskilful when driven to compose. Again 
and again he takes counsel of other artists, and he 
never ceases to search and to experiment. The figures 
of men and animals in his landscapes often seem me- 
chanically posed and are weak in drawing, particularly 
when foreshortened. At all these points he was out- 
distanced by the accomplished Italianizing painters 
who, possessed of a clever facility in design and execu- 
tion and a sureness in drawing that seldom went wrong, 
soon turned their backs on nature and worked out some 
sort of a scheme which they used with perfect mastery, 
and to which they clung as long as they lived. 

Nevertheless a painter like Camphuysen seems to us 
more important and more interesting, for anything in 
process of growth, anything that reveals an inner strug- 
gle, appeals to us more strongly than the finished, easily 
accomplished result behind which nothing lies concealed. 
Camphuysen's pictures seem more real than those of 




the painters just named because in every detail he had 
to recur to nature, because we live over again with 
him the effort of production. As he is not deceived 
in regard to his deficiencies, he always begins to work 
afresh in directions where he has not yet ventured, 
hoping that here he may achieve perfection. Therefore 
his work is richer in varied themes and problems than 
is that of the clever craftsmen who constantly turn in a 
circle, repeating themselves over and over again. From 
the sincerity of his character springs also the faithful 
loving manner in which he portrays his native soil, the 
warm sympathy with which he pictures the humble life 
of the cottage or the pasture. Only a genuine attachment 
to his surroundings made possible such an harmonious 
characterization of the farmstead, such a good-natured 
commentary upon its inhabitants, such an appealing 
study of all its paintable corners. And only from a 
genuine artistic endowment could an art develop which 
persuades one to forget the theme as such in the ad- 
mirable rendering of its aspect, the incident in the mood 
that it evokes. 

In the Johnson Collection there is a cattle-piece 
which has often been remarked for individuality in 
composition, simplicity of handling, and an admirable 
rendering of evening light. A number of cows standing 
stiffly about in various positions almost fill the canvas 
up to the front; a castle with a tower and a garden wall 
form the background. More than one painter has been 
suggested in connection with this remarkable picture, 
which bears no signature : Hendrik Ten Oever whom we 
know in several effective landscapes where, however, the 



figures are placed farther away in a silhouette-like fash- 
ion; Gerit Berckheyde who generally painted, although 
in a more conventional arrangement, cows at pasture 
by a city wall in an afternoon light; and finally Go vert 
Camphuysen. As this last name seemed the most 
plausible, I attached it, tentatively, to the description 
of the picture in my catalogue of the Johnson Collec- 
tion, despite the fact that the owner was never quite 
convinced of the correctness of the attribution. Al- 
most the first picture I saw offered for sale in Paris 
in 1913 appeared, even at a glance, to be a second ex- 
ample of this unknown artist. It was then in a dealer's 
hands and has since passed into the collection of Mr. 
John D. Mcllhenny in Philadelphia. Unsigned, it 
gave no help in regard to the painter's name. But 
soon afterward, by a happy chance, I visited the Semeo- 
now Collection at St. Petersburg in company with the 
owner of the first-named picture. Here we discovered 
a third painting from the same hand, and here at last 
was the wished-for signature. The name was Camp- 
huysen, and although the Christian name was not 
Govert but was concealed in a monogram hard to 
decipher, nevertheless the attribution in the Johnson 
catalogue was not far wrong, for the painter was a 
relative of Go vert's who stood close to him in his art. 

Neither of the Camphuysens of the elder generation, 
neither Rafel nor Jochem, could be thought of, for the 
style showed that the picture could not have been 
painted in their lifetime. Otherwise no painter of the 
name had been mentioned at any length excepting a 
younger Govert or Godefridus, a nephew of the well- 
known Govert, who was born in 1658, married in 1678, 



and as early as 1686, it seems, exchanged his occupation 
for that of a wine-dealer; and he, again, cannot have 
painted our pictures. In the first place he lived later 
than the time to which we must assign them, none of 
a similar kind having been produced in Holland after 
1680; and in the second place his name does not corre- 
spond with the monogram. It may be added that the 
solitary picture of this Godefridus that is known, a 
Nativity in the manner of Cornelius Saftleven, seems 
to be but a bungling piece of work. 

Only one other Camphuysen — Raphel Dircksz, an 
elder brother of the well-known Govert — is anywhere 
mentioned as a painter, and he is thus referred to but 
once, quite incidently, and in words that have not even 
been preserved in an original document of the seven- 
teenth century. But although we have these words 
only in an eighteenth-century transcript of an entry 
in the archives of the city of Leeu warden, they are more 
trustworthy, perhaps, than has hitherto been thought: 
Raphael Kamphuysen. Volgens begravenis Brief je Op't 
hathuysens Kerkhqf 1691 den 6 Juni, geweest schilder. 
(Raphael Kamphuysen. According to the bill for the 
burial in the Carthusian Churchyard, 1691, June 6, was 
a painter.) 

The artist who, as we are thus informed, lived until 
1691, was born in 1619. He and his younger brother 
Govert were the sons of Dirck Raphaelsz Camphuysen, 
renowned in his time as a poet. As the second Raphel 
was called for his father, his full name was Raphel 
Dircksz Camphuysen, while the full name of his brother, 
in which also the father's name was incorporated, was 
Govert Dircksz Camphuysen. It can no longer be 



doubted that the painter we are seeking was this Raphel 
Dircksz, for the monogram on the St. Petersburg pic- 
ture consists of an R and a D. 

Although Raphel was older than Govert, his style 
seems more like Govert's carried farther than like 
an earlier manner. He must have painted the three 
pictures that are known to us at the end of the sixth 
or the beginning of the seventh decade of the century, 
for from this period date all the works by other masters 
which are composed in a similar way — deliberately, 
with calculated intention. But even though this kind 
of composition represents a step beyond Govert's 
naively realistic style, none the less Govert may have 
been influenced by his brother, particularly in his later 
years. In the works he then produced — in the Halt 
at the Tavern, in the great picture at St. Petersburg, 
the one in the Wallace Collection, and others besides — 
we constantly find horses or cows so placed that they 
are seen, foreshortened, in a direct front or back view. 
Raphel also had a predilection for this unusual kind of 
foreshortening, and it was from him, most probably, 
that Govert learned it. This we feel because in Go- 
vert's pictures the positions often seem forced and 
motiveless, and are so faultily depicted that they but 
half perform their intended service in indicating grada- 
tions of space, in developing the depth of the scene, 
while, on the other hand, Raphel's pictures prove him 
a master in drawing and in treating the problems of 
space — one whose every form and line has a definite 
constructional meaning and assists the effect of the 
composition as a whole. 

In Raphel's picture in the Mcllhenny Collection the 



development of the different zones from the foreground 
to the background begins at the left-hand corner where 
the foreshortened horse leads the eye directly to the 
middle distance. A second line runs toward the right, 
over the three cows that are turned in this direction, to 
the boy sitting by the ditch whose staff forms the con- 
necting link. The intentional character of these lines 
is proved by the close alliance of the successive curves 
formed by the backs of the recumbent beasts. A third 
gradation of space is defined by the line that leads from 
the white cow lying at the left of the picture to the steer 
seen in profile in the middle distance, and then to the 
cows of diminishing sizes in the farther distance near the 
wall of the church. These lines, without any acces- 
sory details to help them, develop the receding zones 
in regular succession at equal intervals. In addition, 
main horizontal and vertical axes also appear in the 
composition. The vertical ones are formed at deter- 
mined intervals by the horse, the church tower, the 
standing cowherd, and the singular tower at the right, 
and the horizontals by the shadow of the ditch and the 
long outline of the body of the church and the adjoining 
wall, while both verticals and horizontals are echoed in 
brief by the rectangular profile of the steer in the centre 
of the canvas. These straight lines give the picture a 
solemn reposefulness that well befits the evening hour. 
The void passages, notably in the architecture where 
hardly anything speaks except factors of height and 
breadth, produce an impression of great spaciousness, 
of monumental design, which is even more striking when 
the picture is viewed from a distance. 

The artist, it should be noted, employs his architect- 

t H3 ] 


ural features to establish the dominant lines on his 
canvas and then impresses an architectural stamp upon 
the other elements, the figures of the men and the ani- 
mals. This accord between architectural forms and 
animate figures appears again in the smaller picture in 
the Johnson Collection. Here also the animals are so 
placed that they develop the successive zones of space 
toward the background, which again is formed by a 
church and a wall, but the studied character of the 
design is less evident because it is masked by a greater 
profusion of detail. 

The third picture, the one owned in Russia, has no 
architectural elements. The development of the steps 
that give its depth to the scene is effected wholly by 
means of a number of animals and a herdboy. Prob- 
ably the latest in date of the three, it is the simplest 
in composition and the most colourful, the black of the 
cows, the red of the boy's costume, and the orange tone 
of the sky forming a brilliant colour scheme. 

Raphel Camphuysen is one of the few Dutch artists 
who subordinated details for the sake of well-defined 
lucid composition. Accomplished in drawing and in 
the rendering of space, he had no reason to be afraid to 
show his constructional lines and forms unadorned and 
unconcealed by a profusion of minor facts. In the 
simplifying of his figures and the rounding-off of their 
contours he goes as far as Vermeer and Pieter de Hooch, 
whose works, it must be confessed, have a greater 
charm than his by reason of their more attractive 
themes. As in Vermeer 's compositions so also in 
RapheFs, the foreground objects sometimes project 
beyond the first plane in order that they may the more 

[ 114 ] 



quickly lead the eye of the observer into the picture. 
The lighting recalls Pieter de Hooch, and so does the 
construction of the rectangularly shaped figures such 
as we see in the group in Mr. Johnson's example. And 
Raphel shares with both these artists the desire to 
accentuate horizontal and vertical lines and to gather 
the elements of the design into rectangles. In another 
place I have tried to show how this method of com- 
position recurs again and again in important paintings 
of every period of Dutch art, how it seems to be a funda- 
mental principle which may be explained, perhaps, by the 
rectangular ordering of the actual landscape of Holland. 
More consciously than before, Dutch painters employed 
it in the time of the most perfect flowering of their art, 
shortly before its decline began — roughly speaking, 
between 1655 and 1675. Heir to the rich artistic devel- 
opments of two generations, in full possession of the 
power to imitate nature, the artist then began to strive 
more consciously for the embodiment of aesthetic ideas. 
Especially at Amsterdam, the centre of artistic ac- 
tivity, a style was developed which, if the word had 
not acquired a displeasing significance, might be called 
academic. Assuming a high degree of understanding in 
its public, the art of painting endeavoured for its own 
sake to pay more attention to problems of form, of de- 
sign. Undoubtedly there was a connection between 
this tendency and the tendency of the architecture of the 
period, as represented by the work of Jacob van Campen 
and Pieter Post, to strive for a classic simplicity, to 
return to the geometrical in fundamental forms. In 
painting, the leaders of the movement were Rem- 
brandt, after the year 1655, and such masters as Pieter 



de Hooch and Ter Borch. And from this point of view 
the art of Raphel Dircksz Camphuysen assumes addi- 
tional importance, for he was the only representative 
of the geometrical style in the domain of the landscape 
with animals. 




DUTCH tile-painting was at its best during the 
great period of Dutch art, the seventeenth cen- 
tury. As the Hollanders were then the leaders 
of all Europe in the paths of world-wide traffic, it may 
easily be believed that their tiles, like all the other prod- 
ucts of their applied arts, found a market in many lands. 
They were exported to the German coasts of the North 
Sea and the Baltic and as far to the north as Denmark, 
and in the other direction as far as Spain and Morocco. 
Even in the East Indies, in the old houses of Java, as 
well as in certain parts of America, they must still 
exist in numbers. But they found their natural place 
in Holland itself, in the land of frequent downpours 
where the walls of the houses can scarcely dry out, 
where earth and sky are for the most part attuned to 
neutral harmonies of colour, and the inhabitants long 
for whatever is bright and gay, white and shining. 

Style in the products of the applied arts has usually 
a utilitarian as well as an aesthetic basis. We may 
say, for example, that the Dutch love brass utensils 
and take pains to keep them bright because as their 



paintings convincingly prove, they take pleasure in 
golden lustres and the shimmer of reflected light; but 
we may also say that they polish so assiduously be- 
cause they must, because a day suffices to dim the 
brilliancy of door and window fastenings. And so it 
may be said of their tiles that while they served the 
practical purpose of protecting the walls against damp- 
ness they also harmonized admirably with the white 
walls and with the floors which in fine houses were 
of white marble, in peasants' cottages of wood sprinkled 
with white sand. 

When the best tiles were produced, during the first 
sixty or seventy years of the seventeenth century, they 
were used but sparingly in the decoration of rooms. 
They were set in a row along the foot of the wall where 
they served a practical end as baseboards. Sometimes 
in subordinate places, in the bedroom, the corridor, 
or the kitchen, they covered small expanses of wall 
breast-high. And they were also used in and around 
the fireplace where two or three rows of them were set 
vertically on the two projecting wall-spaces, and often 
across the space above the fireback. Here again they 
were very useful as they could easily be washed free of 
soot and from their glazed surface radiated more heat 
than other substances. 

The Dutch living-room of the seventeenth century 
was so very simple, so white and almost bare in effect, 
that the tiles with their pleasing hues applied on a 
white ground introduced a welcome note of colour. 
As decorations they had the same value, perhaps, as 
one of the few pictures that constituted the adornment 
of the walls. And it was because they were of so 



much importance in the room and were not used in 
quantities that in the seventeenth century they were 
artistically fashioned. When in the eighteenth century 
the custom arose of lining certain rooms, such as kitch- 
ens, from floor to ceiling with tiles, the value of the 
individual tile was less considered. 

The production of ceramic tiles must always remain 
a handicraft. We cannot demand of it the highest 
artistic results, and still less can we expect to find great 
masters among the designers of patterns. In general, 
artists made designs that were mechanically copied by 
artisans. But the repertory of such patterns was as- 
tonishingly large in the period when natural objects, 
figures and plant motives, were reproduced. Among 
forty or fifty tiles there may not be two alike. Nor 
at this time, it is certain, was the actual execution 
wholly in the hands of artisans. It is easy, upon exami- 
nation, to decide whether the brush of an artist laid 
the strokes with sureness and intelligence or whether 
the stiff hand of an artisan copied a pattern in a slow 
painstaking fashion. In fact, the records tell that cer- 
tain painters in oil — for example, Frydom and Abra- 
ham de Kooge — were also tile-painters. And at Delft, 
the centre of the faience industry, painting and ceramic 
art undoubtedly exerted a reciprocal influence. It suf- 
fices to remember the chief painters of Delft, Jan 
Vermeer and Carel Fab ri tins, who, whether they were 
actually or only indirectly Rembrandt's pupils, stand 
in their choice of colours, in their preference for white 
and blue and a light yellow, at the opposite pole from 
Rembrandt with his golden-brown colour scheme. Their 
favourite colours are precisely those of the Delft faience - 

[ 119] 


painter. And their manner of setting their figures 
against a light-coloured wall and letting the white 
background dominate the colour scheme is the exact re- 
verse of Rembrandt's way of letting the heads show light 
against a dark ground, but recalls the contemporary 
ceramic style. It can hardly be by chance that the 
picture of Carel Fabritius, in the museum at the 
Hague, of a goldfinch in front of a white wall was 
painted at Delft. It stands quite by itself in Dutch 
pictorial art, but similar motives are common on indi- 
vidual tiles, and in the eighteenth century a single bird 
sitting on a branch or in a cage with a white wall behind 
it was one of the most popular designs for the tile- 
pictures that were then composed with a number of 
parts. Again, with Vermeer of Delft not only the 
choice of colours but also the handling with its glassy 
polished effect and beady fat touches is so like the treat- 
ment of faience surfaces as to make it probable that 
the painter of pictures busied himself also with this 
branch of the applied arts.* 

It is not likely that actual patterns for tiles with fig- 
ure subjects will often be discovered. Prints by Jacob 
de Gheyn the Elder were used, indeed, for a series of 
soldiers in armour, not very well done and now rarely 
found. But in most cases the designs were made es- 
pecially for the tiles; otherwise they would not so well 
have served their purpose as decorations. The de- 
signers were artists like Antonis Palamedeo, Pieter 

*As early as the year 1866 Burger-Thore called attention in the Gazette des beaux 
arts to this probability and cited certain tiles, in 'collections now dispersed, as 
possibly painted by Vermeer. But his statement that the designs seemed to repro- 
duce pictures by Vermeer refutes rather than supports the idea that they were ex- 
ecuted by Vermeer himself. 



Codde, Willem Buyteweck, and Leonard Bramen. Ex- 
amples of such drawings with a single soldier who 
seems to stand upon air, as the only indication of space 
is a short line of shadow, may occasionally be met with 
in print collections, as in the one at Amsterdam and in 
Dr. Hofstede de Groot's at the Hague. 

Prints may more often have served as patterns for 
the later Biblical scenes. There are no well-known 
series of them, but I once found, offered for sale, a 
picture Bible, without any text, in which the illustrations 
were drawn in outline and enclosed in borders as they 
are on tiles. Perhaps it was a tile-painter's pattern- 
book. In any case the important point is that the 
patterns were prepared especially for the tiles or, if 
they were taken from other sources, were so adapted 
that it is impossible to distinguish them as having been 
borrowed from the art of the engraver or the painter. 

As regards the technique of tile-painting, it is note- 
worthy that in the old days the ground was first covered 
by a white glaze upon which the design was executed 
in colour. To-day, on the contrary, the painting is 
usually done directly on the paste, and afterward the 
whole surface is covered with a translucent whitish 
glaze. The same difference in the process marks, of 
course, all old Dutch faience-painting as compared 
with the modern Dutch product. Thus the old Dutch 
potters could be indifferent to the colour of the clay 
that was to be painted upon, as it would be entirely 
covered by the glaze. At first the material was some- 
times reddish, sometimes yellowish, and not very clean. 
Later it became a yellowish-white and cleaner but more 



Three periods may be marked in the development of 
tile-painting. An exact chronological arrangement is 
hardly possible, but it may be said in a general way 
that the main development covered the years between 
the end of the sixteenth and the end of the eighteenth 
century, the first period running approximately from 
1580 to 1630, the second from 1630 to 1670, and the 
third, broadly stated, from the end of the seventeenth 
century to the end of the eighteenth. 

The products of these three periods may easily be 
distinguished by the eye. In the first the ornamental 
character predominates. The decoration is broad and 
vigorous and fills the entire space, the colours are a 
strong yellow and red-brown with a dark blue and a 
copper-oxide green, the pattern carries well, and the tiles 
are relatively thick, measuring about one centimetre. 

In the second period, when Dutch art was in its 
prime, the patterns have the greatest variety. To the 
plant motives, which become much more realistic with- 
out any loss of style, there are added figures of soldiers 
and artisans and sea-monsters, a few landscape mo- 
tives, and, above all, ships. The horror vacui of the first 
period, when the whole field was covered, is forgotten. 
A single motive — a flower, a solitary figure, a vessel — 
is set freely and lightly in the space so that the white 
ground plays an important part in the result. The 
colour of the pattern is blue, the beautiful Delft blue 
that was never achieved except in this period, the sec- 
ond half of the seventeenth century. The technique 
has been perfected, the white is milky and shiningly 
bright, the glaze brilliant yet not vitreous in effect. 
The tile has lost one third of its thickness. 

[ 122] 

ABOUT 1580-1630 


In the third period the dominant colour is a manga- 
nese purple, a weak mixed tint that speaks of the Rococo 
time. Decorative simplicity has vanished; here, too, the 
influence of the art of painting, which destroyed sculp- 
ture in Holland, has worked disastrously. There is 
an evident desire to put a whole picture on a single tile, 
to paint landscapes and scenes with many figures, 
especially pastorals and Bible pictures. Together with 
these there reappears a decorative ornamentation, 
spreading over several rows of tiles and rich but restless 
and weak in effect — a Rococo design of leafage and 
flowers that in Dutch hands has become rather heavy 
and ungraceful. The tiles are now only half as thick 
as those of the first period. Most of the tile-pictures 
were made at this time. 

The first period, when there was an interplay of vari- 
ous influences, presents the greatest number of histori- 
cal problems. The technique was still primitive and 
unskilful, yet the outcome, in spite of all dependence 
upon foreign styles, is full of naivete and strength. No 
such brilliant intensity of colour was achieved in after 
days. In this respect these tiles, be the disparity what 
it may 9 can be compared only with those of the Orient, 
for Spanish and Italian tiles are usually duller and less 
varied in colour, or else their small area is sprinkled 
with such numerous little spots of colour that they make 
no coherent colour impression. If we put Dutch and 
oriental tiles side by side, the northern specimens, 
equally intense in colour, may be distinguished by the 
warm and heavy but very decorative tone from the ori- 
ental, which depend for their decorative value upon a 
luminous clarity, a sensuous luxuriance of effect. 



In developing from the greatest colouristic richness 
to monochrome this Dutch product took an opposite 
course from the majolica ware of Italy. The reason 
can easily be read. The ceramic art of the Dutch fol- 
lowed, chronologically, that of the Italians and was 
inspired by their late polychromatic style. The sim- 
plicity of the colour combinations in the earlier Italian 
majolicas had been due to a primitive undeveloped tech- 
nique and to a connection with the colourless faience 
of Spain. The contrary development at the north, from 
polychromatic to monochromatic design, was part and 
parcel of the general character of the art of Holland. 

In touching upon the connection with Italian ma- 
jolica wares we come naturally to the question of the 
beginnings of tile-making in Holland, which is identical 
with the question of the origin of Dutch faience. A 
knowledge of the tiles themselves contributes largely 
to a solution of this much-discussed problem. 

Usually the beginnings of the Dutch industry are 
placed in the early years of the seventeenth century. 
The records of the city of Delft mention faience- 
painters for the first time about the year 1610. The 
earliest specimens that we have of their handiwork, im- 
itations of Chinese porcelains with designs in blue, 
are attributed by Havard to dates between 1640 and 
1650, and are cited as the earliest by Brickmann also. 
In style they correspond with the second period in 
tile-painting. Heer Pit, the director of the Netherland 
Museum at Amsterdam, takes a long backward step in 
the matter of dates because of certain small apothecary 
pots, imitated from albarelli, that were found at Mid- 
delburg on the site of an apothecary shop which was 




not in existence at a later date than 1580. These pots 
he believes to be the earliest existing specimens of 
Delft faience, made about 1570. It is a question, 
however, whether they may not be Italian, for Wallis 
has published pictures of just such pots in his writings 
on the Italian majolicas of the fifteenth century. In 
England also such shapes were very often imitated 
during the eighteenth century in the factories that 
produced the so-called Lambeth Delft, as is shown by 
specimens at Liverpool and in the Victoria and Albert 
Museum in London. On the other hand, Pit is cer- 
tainly right when he claims a Dutch origin for two or 
three fragments discovered at Delft which, according 
to a date upon one of them, must have been made in 
the second decade of the seventeenth century. They 
have precisely the strong, brightly varied colours of the 
oldest tiles. A plate in perfect preservation, which I 
saw in the museum at York, is perhaps a little older, 
and the fact that it was made at Delft may be assumed 
with some confidence from its affinity with Dutch 

But we must draw our knowledge of this early period 
chiefly from the tiles unless a larger number of early 
Delft faience pieces are discovered. It is by no means 
an unwarranted assumption that tiles were made in 
quantities at an earlier time than faience vessels. Cer- 
tainly they came sooner into general use. In the pictures 
of de Hooch, Vermeer, Metsu, and other painters of the 
'sixties and 'seventies of the seventeenth century, where 
tiles may usually be seen on the walls of the rooms, the 
furnishings include scarcely a single Delft vase, although 
the descriptions in the catalogues of certain picture col- 

[ 125 ] 


lections give this name to objects that are really Chinese 

A more definite account of the earliest use of tiles 
has been given by Heer Muller, the archivist of 
Utrecht. He says that they took the place of the so- 
called "fireplace stones " — bricks impressed with sunken 
patterns — which bear no dates later than those be- 
tween 1607 and 1614, with occasional exceptions that 
are dated as late as 1621. Thus the tiles drove out the 
"fireplace stones" between, approximately, 1610 and 
1620. Muller has reference to those with figures done 
in blue, and he is right in saying that the costumes 
indicate the beginning of the seventeenth century., At 
least this is true of some of them where the figures wear 
the dress of the time of Hendrick Avercamp, Esaias 
van der Velde, Aert Aertzen, and their fellows. But 
the figures on many others display the modes of the 
'thirties and 'forties. In any case tiles with polychro- 
matic ornament must have been made some time 
before the blue-and-white ones, which show a more 
developed technique. And two specimens, recently 
on sale in Holland, speak of the 'eighties and 'nineties 
of the preceding century, bearing pictures of women, 
the head and bust only, in the dress of the second half 
of the sixteenth century. 

These years are indicated also by that relation to Italy 
which is patent in all the Dutch art of the sixteenth 
century. Beyond a doubt, technical methods were ac- 
quired directly from Italy. It cannot here be discussed 
whether they came in byway of Antwerp where an Italian 
craftsman, Guido da Savino, was at work, or by way of 
Spain where at Seville there was an Italian tile-factory, 


about 1630-1670 


the products of which resemble Dutch ceramic wares. 
However this may be, there is evidence to prove that the 
earliest Dutch tile-painters had travelled as students in 
Italy and Spain. 

On the oldest tiles the motives are Italian — pome- 
granates, large grapes, and quinces. From Italy also, 
in all probability, came the corner ornament, the lily, 
from which the various comer patterns on Dutch tiles 
of later dates were developed. And Italian, again, is 
the colouring — the predominance of orange-yellow 
and the use of a deep blue and a copper-oxide green. A 
thought of these motives and colours must recall to mind 
the fat-bellied pots made at Faenza in the early part of 
the sixteenth century. The contemporary tiles with 
figures of animals whose shapes Pit derives from oriental 
art have more resemblance to Italian tiles, probably 
also made at Faenza, specimens of which may be seen in 
the British Museum and in the Forrer Collection at 
Strassburg. Spanish influence is now much less strong, 
persisting only, perhaps, in the enframing patterns and 
in the occasional occurrence of an arabesque design 
covering the whole field. This design, however, may 
have come in by way of Italy. 

In the second period of tile-painting Chinese porce- 
lain plays a part similar to that of Italian faience in the 
first period, although not of the same dominating impor- 
tance. It influences the colour, for blue now replaces all 
other hues, and also the designs, some of which are 
taken directly from the Chinese. For instance, Mr. 
Victor de Stuers had in his possession at the Hague tiles 
with a familiar Chinese design of birds sitting among 
blossoms. Sometimes, too, we find more formal pat- 

[ 127] 


terns with emblems, such as rolls of paper from which 
extend long cords and flourishes, that are common in 
Chinese work of the sixteenth and the early seventeenth 
century. And, finally, the only corner ornament which 
cannot be traced back to the lily is a group of short blue 
bands, a misunderstood meander pattern of Chinese 

The ornamentation of Dutch tiles suggests a number 
of aesthetic problems that can merely be indicated here. 
The artist had to deal with the need so to fill a small 
quadrangular space that the pattern would tell as a 
unit within the limits of the individual tile and would 
also lead up to its neighbours. He had to take pains 
to bring similar motives together when associating the 
tiles, and to secure in the different designs an approxi- 
mation to symmetry. Above all, in his figures and 
landscapes he had to adapt the subject to flat decoration 
and yet preserve truth to nature. For this reason he 
intentionally avoided effects of distance in his maritime 
subjects, portraying the water without any indication 
of perspective, and so placing the vessels that they sup- 
ply a vigorous silhouette while not leading the eye into 
the distance. Nevertheless the impression of a freshly 
observed bit of nature is admirably preserved. 

During the nineteenth century nothing individual in 
the way of tiles was produced in Holland. It is not 
necessary to speak of the attempts, wholly unsuccessful 
but affectionately fostered by the people, of certain 
modern Dutch manufacturers to revive the old art by 
imitating it. The costly tiles and decorative plates 
turned out by these firms show landscapes after Maris 
or Apoll, and even figures of Rembrandt's with ill-drawn 


about 1630-1670 

A ABOUT 1725 B ABOUT 1750 


expressionless faces swimming in glaring blue tones. 
The colours are as intolerable as the designs — the 
grayish white of the ground and the hard blue of the 
painting, the revival of which has failed because it is 
not a colour that was born of the taste of the faience- 
painter of to-day. The diversified mixed colours, 
like pearl-gray, pink, and lilac, that were not known in 
elder times, are rather more successful, for they were 
produced in answer to an independent modern desire. 
The designs are absolutely undecorative. It is all 
wrong when faience attempts to vie with painting in 
oils, which must give that illusion of space, of perspec- 
tive, that the earlier painters of faience so absolutely 

It is pleasant to know that in recent years a few 
artists have been trying to do new things in the spirit 
of the old, using other colours, other designs, and a 
newly mastered technique. But they meet with little 
encouragement because they have not the pernicious 
cleverness displayed in the imitations of old Delft. 
The tourist in Holland still prefers to load himself down 
with these worthless wares when, if he does not care 
for good modern art, he might at least search in the 
curiosity-shop for one or two of the old tiles which pre- 
serve more of the artistic spirit of the old days than can 
be found in a whole cargo of modern Delft. 




IN the biographies of Rembrandt only a few words, 
for the most part inconclusive, are given to his 
years at school and at the university. In truth, 
it may not seem essential to know upon what school 
benches the bored young artist sat, for, possessed by a 
single idea, he soon managed to devote himself to art. 
He can have been little more than a year at the univer- 
sity when he entered a painter's studio. But it was not 
only this brief period at college in Leyden that brought 
him into contact with the humanistic culture of the day. 

As he was only fourteen at the time of his matricu- 
lation, the entry regarding it has been thought to 
indicate his admission to the Latin school. For in- 
stance, we read of a brief attendance at 4 6 the Latin 
school of the university, " although there was in fact no 
connection between the school and the college; or we 
are told that "the parents took the boy out of the 
Latin school," although it is certain that he passed 
through it from beginning to end. This means that 
he enjoyed seven years or, if we add about a twelve- 
month at the university, eight years of such instruction 



as was suited to an embryo man of letters, for only 
those boys were sent to the Latin school whose abilities, 
in their parents' opinion, gave promise of scholarship. 
This explains why boys entered the Latin school 
earlier than they do to-day, at the age of seven. To 
the humanists the number seven still seemed signifi- 
cant. For seven years, according to Erasmus, the 
future humanist should play, for seven he should attend 
school, and for seven the university. So it squares 
with the schedule if Rembrandt graduated from the 
Latin school at fourteen. If, as seems evident, his 
parents meant to bring him up to be a scholar he must 
have shown in early youth distinct intellectual ability, 
whether or no the father yet recognized the direction 
in which it pointed; and certainly it was not to Rem- 
brandt's detriment that at first he was led along plainly 
prescribed paths. 

Artists of genius who instinctively develop into ex- 
ponents of a phase of civilization need a certain amount 
of knowledge as a basis upon which, in manifold ways, 
their powerful imaginations may build. This does not 
mean that they must be, like Rubens or Velasquez, 
aristocrats with the means of culture always close at 
hand. They may be, by birth and breeding, simple 
folk like Diirer or Michelangelo, provided that the 
new intellectual life of their time is brought conspic- 
uously to their notice, even if only, perhaps, by a 
small circle of its representatives. Then, dowered with 
broad powers of comprehension, they will assimilate the 
proffered material and will embody its essentials in that 
conception of life which, without formulating it in words, 
they express in their art. 

[ 131 ] 


According to the general verdict, Rembrandt was 
the least cultivated of all great artists. It is true that 
he must always have retained a certain slow simplicity 
of nature, but the course of his life tended to make of the 
miller's son, in mind and in manners, an accomplished 
man. The twenty years that he spent, rich and fa- 
mous, in Amsterdam cannot have failed to affect him, 
but the training he received in his youth must also have 
contributed to his intellectual development. 

In a history of the Leyden Latin school there is 
mention of a school ordinance which took effect soon 
after Rembrandt graduated; and as it was evidently 
meant not to alter but merely to formulate existing 
conditions it shows what books the boy must have 
studied or read. It also informs us in regard to some- 
thing more important — the spirit that guided the 

In the year 1600 the Latin school was rebuilt by the 
municipality for the furtherance of "piety, the lan- 
guages, and the liberal arts," as is inscribed above the 
entrance of the building which still stands to-day. In 
the year when Rembrandt entered a wing was added 
for the rector and the boarders (among whom Rem- 
brandt was certainly not counted), and the graceful 
portal of this wing, now in the Rijks Museum at 
Amsterdam, was adorned by a figure of Pallas Athene, 
with the legend, not quite so graceful, Pallas is veilig 
door haar schild (Pallas is safe because of her buckler) 
and by two lions bearing armorial shields. The school 
contained six rooms for the six classes from Sexta 
to Prima, only the last of which was divided into two 
— Lower and Upper Prima. 



.The name of the school shows that the main goal 
of education was a knowledge of Latin, then the uni- 
versal language of the learned. As far as possible it 
was to be used by the boys in conversation. In addi- 
tion to a grammar the members of the sixth class were 
given at once a book containing conversations by 
Cordier and an introduction with examples for use in 
daily life prepared by Erasmus of Rotterdam. From 
the fifth class onward two hours a week were devoted 
to disputations about scholastic sophistries pro victoria 
loci — that is, "for a higher place" in the class. In 
the upper classes the pupils learned to extemporize and 
to write Latin compositions upon themes chosen by 
themselves; and now they were obliged to speak Latin 
out of school as well as in school, and to keep watch 
upon one another lest they lapse into their mother 
tongue. The old humanistic idea of education still 
prevailed — the development of men of all-round abil- 
ity. It must be confessed that the method was super- 
ficial. What were considered the liberal arts were a 
calligraphy rich in flourishes, the ready writing of for- 
mal Latin epistles, and the composition in complicated 
metres of Latin hymns and odes. To these things long 
school hours were devoted year after year, and thus 
the men were trained who, with an eye to immortal 
renown, wrote letters like lengthy treatises and pref- 
aced their books with endless poems that quenched 
in the reader all sense of the purport of the work. As 
the school ordinance said, the pupils must be able, as 
cultivated men, to make a Latin verse in the turning 
of a hand. A comprehensive acquaintance with Latin 
authors seemed an essential preliminary. The fifth 



class made a beginning with the letters of Cicero, whose 
wisdom, especially as it is contained in his orations, 
thenceforward accompanied the boys throughout their 
school life. Then followed in due order Terence, 
Ovid's Tristia and Metamorphoses, Virgil's Eclogues, 
the fables of iEsop, Caesar's Commentaries, certain 
cantos of the iEneid, Sallust, Livy, Curtius, Horace, 
and others. As is the case to-day, instruction in Greek 
was somewhat subordinated to instruction in Latin, 
although the ordinance pointed out that the Grecian 
tongue was the foundation of all wisdom and that with- 
out it Latin itself could not be rightly understood. In 
the fifth class the boys began the Greek alphabet, in 
the fourth class grammar and the texts. Rembrandt 
read Euripides, although neither of the two great elder 
tragedians, Sophocles and iEschylus. Hesiod and Ho- 
mer are likewise named. 

It was also thought that learning should influence 
the man as such. Good manners were inculcated, albeit, 
according to our ideas, in a wonderful way: the pupils 
were to wean themselves from roughness and rude 
behaviour by reciprocal displays of these traits. On 
the other hand, they were taught how they ought to 
behave by specimens of courtly Latin phrases which 
were free, indeed, from prudery but flat and insipid and 
seldom fit for the mouths of children. For example, 
sixth-class boys were to greet a young married woman 
with the words, "God grant that you may make your 
husband the father of a fine child," and to a person 
who sneezed they were to exclaim, "Good luck," or 
"May God direct it for the best." A good influence 
upon manners was expected from the distiches of Cato 



and the maxims of Solon, and from the Ethics of 
Walaus, a Christianized version of Aristotle's lessons in 

This gives an idea of the value set upon Christianity 
in the education of youth. It stood upon an equal foot- 
ing with classic antiquity. Everything else was subor- 
dinated; for example, Rembrandt learned no modern 
language. All else that was thought to pertain to 
general culture was hastily disposed of in the first class. 
Then something of philosophy was taught (logic was 
combined with the instruction in Latin), and also the 
higher mathematics, geography, and a little history 
which, from what we know of the time, must have re- 
lated only to the development of states and above all to 
the constitution of the Roman state. 

The importance of religion was announced by the 
inscription over the entrance to the Latin school, of 
which the school ordinance gave, in this sense, a further 
explanation. An appeal to the pupils of the sixth 
class in the preface of the first Latin grammar ends 
with the words: "In the name of Christ, the guide in 
all studies, farewell!" In Greek the boys learned to 
repeat the Lord's Prayer in the original and to read the 
evangelists. School began and ended with prayer in 
common, followed, in the morning, by the reading of 
a chapter of the Bible. In the upper classes the 
Psalms of David were sung "so that the boys might 
be accustomed to the pious tunes. " They were charged 
to attend church twice on Sunday, in the morning 
and the afternoon, and had to repeat in school what 
they remembered of the sermon. The Heidelberg cate- 
chism and in connection with it the teaching of dogma 



were taken up astonishingly early, in the second class. 
Religious instruction ended in the first class with dis- 
cussions of heretical opinions. 

There is little to be said about Rembrandt's univer- 
sity life, which followed upon his course at the Latin 
school, for we do not know how long it lasted. He was 
enrolled as studiosus litterarum and therefore attended 
the lectures of the professors of a preliminary faculty, 
introductory to those of the three main faculties. As 
is indicated by the age of very many of the students, 
from fourteen to sixteen, the course did not differ much 
from school instruction. Rembrandt must have en- 
larged his knowledge of Latin grammar and Latin 
authors and have followed courses in the history of 
dogma and of the Christian Church; and perhaps it was 
at this time that he learned Hebrew which, as inscrip- 
tions on his pictures show, he understood to some extent. 

This training at school and university left lasting 
traces in the artist's attitude of mind. In his time 
humanistic and Christian scholarship were more closely 
related to life than they are in our own. At Ley den 
even the ordinary man listened with pleasure to the 
disputes of the learned upon points of criticism, and 
the "small burgher" strove, as he still does in Holland, 
to form an opinion of his own upon dogmatic questions. 
In so far as it is possible to divine Rembrandt's intel- 
lectual attitude from his pictures and from the records, 
it may be said that Roman antiquity meant more to 
him than Grecian, as at school Latin took rank above 
Greek. His knowledge of Latin is revealed by occasional 
inscriptions on his pictures and portrait etchings; and 
that it pleased him in later life to look into the books 




he had known in his youth seems probable in view of 
certain representations of themes taken in especial from 
Ovid, Livy, and Cicero which, like his Biblical illustra- 
tions, adhere so faithfully to the text that we can hardly 
think that he created them wholly from memory or 
utilized the work of other artists. 

Baldinucci relates that on the walls of the house of a 
merchant who belonged to the magistracy Rembrandt 
painted in oils a number of pictures from Ovid. It is 
uncertain whether this statement is correct or not. We 
can hardly connect it with the drawings and paintings 
of scenes from Ovid that still exist, as these date from 
various periods of Rembrandt's career. I may briefly 
indicate what they are, following approximately the 
order in which the poems themselves are arranged: 

1. lo. Rembrandt has presented three moments in 
this familiar myth. In a drawing at Berlin and in one 
in the Victoria and Albert Museum at London,* Juno 
leads the metamorphosed lo to Argus. Two drawings, 
owned by Leon Bonnat and Walter Gay in Paris, show 
Mercury lulling the warder to sleep with his flute. A 
fifth, in the collection of J. C. Robinson at London, and 
a sixth, in the Albertina at Vienna, represent the be- 
heading of Argus. 

2. Callisto. In a picture at Anholt Rembrandt 
strives to render in a drastic way the words in which the 
poet describes Diana's discovery of the nymph's mis- 
step. The scene between Diana and Action is also 
introduced into this picture. A drawing of the Callisto 
episode, of about 1635, is in my possession. 

* These drawings and the others that will be named are described by C. Hofstede 
de Groot in his Katalog der Handzeichnungen Rembrandt's. Haarlem, 1906. 



3. Europa. A picture of the Rape of Europa, 
owned by Herr Kappel of Berlin, shows the moment 
when the god changed into a bull slipped gently from 
the shore: 

Left the dry meadow and approach'd the seas 
Where now he dips his hoofs and wets his thighs, 
Now plunges in and carries off the prize. . . . 

and when Europa 

. . . . looks backward on the shore 
And hears the tumbling billows round her roar; 
But still she holds him fast; one hand is borne 
Upon his back, the other grasps a horn; 
Her train of ruffling garments flies behind, 
Swells in the air and hovers in the wind. 

As far as my knowledge goes, no other artist has so 
faithfully adhered to the text in the placing of Europa's 

4. Diana and Actseon. In 1630 or thereabouts 
Rembrandt both painted and etched the single figure of 
Diana as she puts her feet in the water and, startled, 
looks around for Actseon who is no longer visible. In 
the picture at Anholt already named (2), which was 
painted five years later, the artist borrows directly from 
the poet: Diana, accompanied by a number of nymphs, 
dashes the water on the bewildered huntsman, the 
metamorphosis of whose head is already accomplished. 
Rembrandt's contemporaries must have recognized his 
faithful following of the text, for in 1677 a print from 
the main group of this picture was used as an illustra- 



tion in a Brussels edition of Ovid. In two drawings, 
one in the Louvre, the other at Dresden, the artist 
again makes use of the same material. The second, 
which dates from the 'sixties, shows the nymphs, in 
accordance with the text, pressing closely around the 
goddess to conceal her from prying glances. 

5. Narcissus. In a drawing at Lille Rembrandt has 
shown Narcissus mirroring himself in the water. A 
mythological representation at Amsterdam which for a 
time was called Narcissus, but incorrectly, as the figure 
gazing at its own reflection is that of a young woman, 
is no longer considered genuine. 

6. Py ramus and Thisbe. This story, retold in 
poetry a few decades earlier by Rembrandt's great 
kinsman in the spirit, Shakespeare, inspired the artist 
of brush and pencil also. In Berlin alone there are 
three drawings of the final scene of this tragedy of 
love, and to these must be added one at Amsterdam, 
another at Munich, and a third in the Friedrich Au- 
gust II Collection at Dresden. In one of the Berlin 
sketches Thisbe gazes at the dead Pyramus with a 
pitying glance. In the one at Amsterdam she clasps 
her hands in sorrow at the sight. Grieving, she holds 
her head in her hands in the second of the Berlin 
drawings. Following the course of the story, in the 
sketch at Dresden she draws the dagger from the breast 
of her beloved. And, finally, in the third Berlin ex- 
ample and in the one at Munich Thisbe stabs herself 
with the dagger of Pyramus. 

7. Andromeda. A picture dating from about 1632 
with the single figure of Andromeda was discovered and 
acquired by Bredius not long ago. It seems to have 



been cut away at one side, although it is hard to imag- 
ine how a Perseus could have been introduced. 

8. Ceres. From the story of Ceres Rembrandt 
chose two episodes. In a picture of the Rape of 
Proserpine, now in the Berlin Museum, he tells with 
the impetuosity of youth, yet with a discreet respect 
for the text, of Pluto's furious chariot-ride, showing 
how the flowers which Proserpine had gathered in a 
basket and in her uplifted garment 66 fall from the fly- 
ing skirt, " and how her friends convulsively cling to its 
long folds while the frightened maiden calls in despair 
to her mother as the dark steeds drag the chariot into 
the deep-flowing lake called Pergus near the walls of 
Enna. The second episode appears in a drawing that 
dates from the 'fifties where three figures are standing 
quietly together: the goddess, a torch in her hand, is 
quenching her thirst, while a woman looks wonderingly 
at a boy who is mocking at Ceres. 

9. Marsyas. A drawing at Berlin, a naked man 
bound to a tree and gazing upward with a despairing 
glance, is more probably a Marsyas than, as has been 
assumed, a Prometheus. 

10. It has not yet been decided what scene from 
the underworld is shown in a drawing at Munich 
where a number of shades are pleading with Pluto and 
Proserpine, Cerberus is on guard in the foreground, 
and a woman leads a warrior to another masculine 
figure. Ovid tells similar tales in connection with Or- 
pheus and Eurydice and with Ino and Athamas. 

11. Philemon and Baucis. Rembrandt made seve- 
ral drawings of the visit of Jupiter and Mercury to 
Philemon and Baucis. Those at Berlin and at Am- 

[ 140] 



sterdam are studies for the picture, painted shortly 
before 1660, which is owned by Mr. Otto H. Kahn of 
New York, and show the artist still searching for the 
moment best suited to representation. First he de- 
picts Philemon and Baucis preparing the repast — 
Philemon, trying to grasp the goose, falls to the ground; 
then he decides to render the moment when the gods 
reveal themselves — the two old people kneel in prayer 
before them. In these compositions the artist proves 
his familiarity with the antique world by showing 
Jupiter and Mercury in half-recumbent attitudes, by 
introducing the sacred birds, and by utilizing for the 
head of Jupiter, as is very evident, some work of sculp- 
ture like the Zeus of Otricoli. 

12. Vertumnus and Pomona. This story, which in 
his day was very often interpreted by the Flemings and 
the painters of Utrecht, attracted Rembrandt also. 
His version of it is preserved in a drawing now at 

In addition to the Metamorphoses of Ovid Rem- 
brandt made use of various passages from Livy's his- 
tory. In several drawings he has told of the fortitude 
of Mucius Scsevola, in others of the passion of Tarquin, 
who, as Lucretia repulses him, threatens her with a 
dagger; and in one drawing and several paintings he 
has portrayed the death of Lucretia. At Madrid 
there is a picture of the dying Sophonisba, the spouse 
of Syphax and daughter of Hasdrubal, to whom Mas- 
inissa sent the poisoned bowl. Even a passage from 
the eighth Philippic of Cicero must have dwelt in the 
artist's memory, for a drawing at Rennes shows the 
scene between Antiochus and the Roman consul, other- 



wise quite unknown to the art of Holland. To an 
external impulse, a commission from the city of Amster- 
dam, was due the great composition of the year 1662, 
the Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis, a theme supplied 
by the Annals of Tacitus. Probably the same may be 
said of a large picture in the possession of Sedelmeyer, 
the Parisian dealer, which, following Livy or Valerius 
Maximus, represents Suessa ordering his father, Quin- 
tus Fabius Maximus, to dismount from his horse. 

In another group of illustrations of the stories of an- 
cient Rome the subjects are clear enough but I cannot 
feel sure of the source from which Rembrandt derived 
his knowledge of them. They include a mythological 
scene, Jupiter and Antiope; one from the history of the 
Roman republic, Scipio and the Spanish Bride; and one 
from the period of the decline of the empire, the blind 
Belisarius sitting as a beggar by the wayside. It can- 
not be said whether the etching of Cleopatra men- 
tioned in the inventory of Clement de Jonghes soon 
after Rembrandt's death has been lost or should be 
recognized in one of those that we possess. 

Finally, there are still a few works representing single 
figures of Roman deities, Minerva peacefully occupied 
in her study, Bellona panoplied for war, Mars with the 
fiery eyes of youth watching for an adversary. Dur- 
ing his last years Rembrandt was at work on a Juno 
that has not been preserved. 

In comparison with the many works for which Rem- 
brandt drew inspiration from Latin authors those in- 
spired by the writers of Greece make a scanty showing. 
An etching, not a very successful one, of Jupiter and 
Danae and a well-known large painting, the Ganymede 



of the Dresden Gallery, were produced at the time 
when he took the most interest in the antique world, 
between 1630 and 1635. From this period we have 
also a Greek inscription on a picture, the beginning of 
the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, which Rem- 
brandt doubtless took from the Greek Testament that 
he had preserved from his schooldays. When in his 
later years he occupied himself with Homer, he was 
probably attracted more by the imaginative presenta- 
tion of great men and poets than by that charm of 
strange tales which had appealed to him at an earlier 
time. He owned a copy of the familiar portrait bust 
of Homer and pictured to himself how the blind poet 
sang — either alone, or like the venerable Goethe with 
only a scribe beside him to whom he was dictating, or, 
surrounded by a circle of wise men, reciting his poems 
under the open sky. Passages from the Iliad and the 
Odyssey must have remained in the painter's memory, 
for from the one he took the beautiful scene between 
Achilles and Briseis which Rubens also painted, from 
the other the story of the vengeance wreaked by Vulcan 
when he caught Mars and Venus in a net and exhibited 
them to the gods. Perhaps it was Jan Six who brought 
Rembrandt, at more than fifty years of age, into 
touch again with the Greek world, for the drawing of 
Homer on Parnassus of the year 1652 is dedicated to 
Six and is bound into the guest-book, called the Pan- 
dora Album, of the Six family, and only a few years 
earlier Rembrandt had etched an illustration for Six's 
tragedy, Medea, a copy of which he had in his little 

As upon Shakespeare, so also upon Rembrandt his 



contemporaries made two diverse demands: he was 
expected to exert a moral influence and to represent 
the figures of antiquity. Seldom could either great 
artist successfully solve the problem so inartistically 
presented. In Shakespeare's case we feel it superfluous 
when the moral of a drama is set forth at its conclu- 
sion, and we cannot fully enjoy scenes of poetic import 
when they are filled with pictures from the antique 
world. Neither the poet's portrayals of antiquity nor 
Rembrandt's allegories show his art at its best. As 
didacticism disturbs us in the poet's case so in the 
painter's does the Baroque setting of his scenes, hardly 
suited to a world which, according to modern ideas, 
must have been symmetrically and harmoniously fash- 
ioned, but which revealed itself to the fancy of a young 
self-confident northern painter in the likeness of his 
own time. Moreover, the tales of ancient Greece and 
Rome are less familiar now than they were to a culti- 
vated Hollander of the seventeenth century, and there- 
fore the fundamental human significance that underlies 
them in Rembrandt's work is not immediately apparent. 
It is not as quickly grasped as when an incident is 
drawn from a Biblical narrative. Something better, 
perhaps, has taken the place of this kind of learning 
in the modern mind — a conception of the artistic 
spirit of antiquity; and it no longer coincides with the 
ideas of the painters of the Baroque period. 

None the less Rembrandt, who was born to express 
the essence of all the intellectual and artistic aspira- 
tions of his race, has given us the best interpretation 
of the classic world that was produced in his fatherland. 
How unbearable are the antique or allegorical essays 



of the other important Dutchmen of his time — Jan 
Vermeer's commonplace New Testament allegories, Jan 
Steen's grotesque picture of the Rape of the Sabines 
or of the Temperance of Scipio, Metsu's unmeaning 
blacksmith Vulcan or his clumsy allegories of Justice 
or Faith, Paul Potter's almost comical Dutch Orpheus 
surrounded by tame beasts, the incredible Argus of 
Adriaen van der Velde — not to speak of lesser masters 
and their unintentional drolleries! It is true that in 
the earlier works of Rembrandt himself the gods make 
merely the effect of costumed Dutchmen in an environ- 
ment of customary studio properties. But in the course 
of time his constant familiarity with the works of art 
of other nations developed the ability to give his scenes 
a more truthfully historical setting, and as his types 
came more into keeping with the prescribed conditions 
the disparity grew less between the two worlds, the 
classic and the Dutch, that he wanted to combine. 
How truly Roman seems to a naive beholder the Tri- 
umph of Suessa where lictors march beside the military 
commander while the insignia of Rome — eagles, ban- 
ners, and escutcheons — are carried behind him. And 
looking at Rembrandt's hoary Homer, who can think 
first of the fact that he was created by a Hollander of 
the Baroque period? Who can fail to recognize at 
once a great artist telling of a poet of the older time 
in a language that every age must understand? If 
the greatest artists of northern countries concerned 
themselves at times with the study of the antique, 
despite the feeling they must have had that to accept 
the ideals of an unfamiliar world would at the outset 
do them more harm than good, it was because they were 



rightly convinced that in the end a knowledge of a 
purer language of form could not fail to exert an inspir- 
ing and enlightening influence upon their own style. 
It was by reason of Rembrandt's acquaintance with 
the art of other peoples, and especially those of the 
south, that his personages developed from inhabitants 
of a small Dutch city into figures which to the eye of 
every observer seem to express the best in his own nature. 

Not only Rembrandt's portrayals of antiquity, but 
also certain fragments of humanistic ways of thinking 
that are preserved in his biographies, remind us of the 
training that he received at school. Calligraphy, 
verse-making, and 44 disputations" are occasionally men- 
tioned. For many years the painter was on friendly 
terms with Coppenol, one of the foremost calligraphists 
of Amsterdam, twice he painted his portrait, and in 
the inventory of his art collections there is mention of 
a portfolio of admirable specimens of writing which 
were probably from Coppenol's pen. Rembrandt him- 
self wrote a hand that shows training. Very crabbed 
and unskilful by comparison is the writing of his father 
or his mother. He does indeed form his firm letters 
according to his own sovereign will, but he likes to 
adorn the long ones with flourishes, loves "scrolling ini- 
tials, and has a personal and singularly beautiful way of 
arranging his page. 

What seem to us in his letters stilted or involved 
expressions may well have been thought in his day the 
elements of beauty of style. The current liking for 
"occasional" poems speaks emphatically from numer- 
ous verses in praise of his work that were composed 
even during his lifetime. Some are of the most naive 



and simple kind, like the lines that his pupil Philip 
Koninck wrote on one of the master's landscapes: 

Dees tekeningh vertoont de buiten amstelkant 

Soo braaf getekent door heer Rembrandt's eygen hard, 

(This picture shows the Amstel's outer strand, 
So bravely painted by Heer Rembrandt's hand.) 

And from distiches of this sort the tributes range to 
the most Baroque rhymed compositions where sophis- 
ticated phrases about the relations of nature and art are 
woven into complicated rhythms. At least one little 
rhyme, a witness to the uprightness of his character, 
has been preserved as Rembrandt himself wrote it in 
1634 in the album of a German traveller from Wei- 

Een vroom gemoet 
Acht eer voor goed. 

(An upright spirit 

Holds honour above wealth.) 

Verse-making of this kind reveals that striving for 
clever turns of phrase which, in all times of high artis- 
tic development, characterizes the conversational and 
literary intercourse of cultivated men, as we realize 
if we remember the sonnet-writing of the Italian Ren- 
aissance and the dialogues in Shakespeare's plays. 
And this striving must have been more pleasingly 
expressed in verbal contests — in "disputations," to 
use the term that was current in Rembrandt's scholarly 
time — than in the "occasional" poem which put 
trifling thoughts into complicated forms in the effort 
to preserve them to all eternity. Hoogstraaten, one 



of Rembrandt's pupils, tells how he and his studio 
associates often disputed with the master upon theo- 
retical questions, and such conversations were prob- 
ably couched in the lively sparkling turns of phrase 
then in vogue. There was more concern for art in the 
utterance, for piquant brilliant retorts, than for the 
expression of significant ideas. For instance, one mem- 
ber of the circle, Carel Fabritius, asks: "How may 
one know whether a young painter gives promise of 
ability?" Hoogstraaten answers: "By the fact that, 
as befits his age, he not only seems to love art but ac- 
tually is in love with the portrayal of nature." Or 
Hoogstraaten asks: "How can one tell whether a 
story is well interpreted? " And the answer runs : "From 
a knowledge of the story." There is more mean- 
ing in the advice Rembrandt himself gives his pupil 
when he bothers him with needless questions about 
the secrets of the artist's craft, but Hoogstraaten 
cites it chiefly on account of its admirable form — 
partially lost, of course, in a translation: "Take pains 
to use well the knowledge you already have; thus you 
will soon enough discover what is now concealed." 
Nothing testifies more clearly to the influence that hu- 
manistic culture exerted upon Rembrandt, who stood 
at the centre of this little circle of painters, than these 
deliberately artistic locutions in which at a later period 
he still indulged. 

It is not necessary to speak farther of the impor- 
tance to Rembrandt of the religious views so assiduously 
inculcated at the Latin school. In this connection no 
stress should be laid upon his school training, for the 
main thing was the religious feeling that was a funda- 




mental part of his nature before he went to school. 
Yet when we remember that the boy must have had a 
daily familiarity with the Bible — even at home where 
his mother loved to absorb herself in its perusal, and 
perhaps read it aloud to him while he was painting her 
portrait — then it seems worthy of note that outside 
influences should have strengthened early tendencies 
in so marked a degree. Nor may we forget that in 
later days Rembrandt loved to portray the Psalmist 
whose songs he had sung in school, that he owned a 
harp, and that he was able to depict in an impressive 
fashion the effect of the harpstrings and the voice of 
song upon the wrathful spirit of Saul. 

It is certain that Rembrandt did not turn his back 
in disgust upon scholarship when he determined to 
become a painter. His life's work shows that as time 
went on he seemed to behold, as though encircled by a 
nimbus, that humanistic career upon which he had 
entered as a child, partly, perhaps, by his own desire. 
In after years, so a contemporary declares, he was 
always one of those who liked to learn from books how 
to give their pictures a truly historical aspect. In 
fact, something like the scholar's spirit must have been 
part of his endowment. His art collections are another 
proof of this. They included, as we know, important 
products of almost every land and period; and while he 
acknowledged their value by the frequent use he made 
of them in his own compositions, he showed in regard 
to the art of other men a just discrimination, based 
upon historical knowledge, which in his time the his- 
torians of art did not possess — not even Vasari or 
van Mander. Only the modern science of criticism 



judges in so well-balanced a way. Rembrandt stands 
almost by himself among great artists as regards this 
many-sided view of art; Rubens alone had the same 
cosmopolitan outlook. But while, as the elder artist, 
Rubens seems to have thought little of the Dutch 
master, Rembrandt admired the great Fleming and 
his circle in spite of the fact that their art is so alien to 
his own that many lovers of the one find it difficult to 
do reverence to the other. 

Rembrandt's understanding of the scholar's spirit 
is manifested also in external ways. No other Dutch 
painter portrays with so much pleasure and sympathy 
the sage who is striving for knowledge. Rembrandt 
idealized him in pictures that, as the logical successors 
of the studious St. Jeromes of Primitive painters, 
give these a broader significance, and he interpreted 
the characteristics of men of learning in portraits that 
are more veracious than those by other artists of the 
time. The scholars of Jan Vermeer or Gabriel Metsu 
coquet with learning; they are dandies who consider 
how they may sit most comfortably at their desks, and 
who love to listen to the scratching of their own pens. 
Those of Gerard Dou or Thomas Wyck are pedants 
or slovenly dirty bookworms who shut their eyes to the 
beauty of the world and think that they have compassed 
all knowledge because they live in a cage full of folios. 
But the earnest eyes of Rembrandt's sages tell that an 
inner impulse drives them to effort, that they make use 
of learning to express the best in their own natures, 
that they have seen much of life and can give much by 
giving of themselves. 




THE mastery of chiaroscuro shown in Rem- 
brandt's pictures may suggest that he was an ar- 
tist of an equable temperament who lived out of 
the world in peaceful seclusion. Nothing could be far- 
ther from the truth. Strength is the predominant factor 
in his art. His technique is the best proof that his own 
nature expressed itself forcibly even when he was most 
deeply affected by the theme that he was treating. If, 
straying through the Rijks Museum at Amsterdam, 
where all his contemporaries dwell under the same roof 
with him, we compare the excellences of one and another 
and then come upon a work of Rembrandt's, they all pale 
and shrink in the presence of his Promethean force. 
Manifold conceptions of art speak from their paintings. 
From Rembrandt's there speaks a personality that has 
more power than art of any kind. His way of seeing 
and of rendering what he has seen testifies to such 
strength of will and such an unremitting tension of the 
emotions that we are convinced that no one ever pene- 
trated farther than he into the deep and hidden things 
of life, or fought the battles of the soul more valiantly. 

[ 151 ] 


In the products of his latter years this passionate 
intensity is a masked, a hidden, force. But there was 
a period in his career when he interpreted life with his 
full powers and with a direct and vigorous purpose — 
the period when his fame was greatest, between 1635 
and 1640. And of no work is this more true than of 
his Blinding of Samson, a picture which was not 
rightly valued until it had been transferred from a 
badly lighted private collection in Vienna to the Stadel 
Institute at Frankfort. 

The hanging of Rembrandt's paintings, it may be 
noted, is not a matter of small importance. It is not 
by accident that more in regard to its placing has 
been written of the Night Watch than of any other 
picture. Rembrandt's art is as subjective as it is 
vigorous. It can come to its full flowering only in a 
special atmosphere, just as it needs for its right under- 
standing a specially constituted observer. When Rem- 
brandt presented the Blinding of Samson to his 
distinguished patron, Constantijn Huygens, he wrote: 
" Hang this picture, sir, in a strong light, and so that 
one may stand at a distance from it; thus it will appear 
at its best. " This is the only mention of one of his own 
works in the few letters of Rembrandt's that have been 
preserved, and it refers to the matter of lighting. 

Rembrandt's Blinding of Samson may be con- 
sidered from various points of view. As a picture, 
quite apart from any questions of origin, it will at once 
impress both artist and layman. The layman will 
think primarily of the subject, and in this case he has a 
right to do so, for the theme and its dramatic shaping 
were important to Rembrandt himself. And who could 


Rembrandt's blinding of samson 

resist the appeal of this drama? — the sight of this Titan 
dashed from shining heights into nocturnal darkness, 
borne down on the right and the left by steel-clad hire- 
lings as by two mighty cudgels while, triumphing in her 
joy, his vanquisher waves like a firebrand the "seven 
locks" of hair. But there is as much justification for 
the artist who, attentive to external qualities, admires 
the complicated arrangement of the picture, for with 
inimitable skill Rembrandt has achieved an harmonious 
interplay of movement and counter-movement, of plas- 
tic forms and unfilled spaces, of long-drawn curves 
and short rippling lines. The colouring — Samson is 
dressed in yellow, Delilah in blue, and the soldier with 
the halberd in red — is of the greatest simplicity yet 
of the greatest richness. It should be noticed how 
varied are the shades of the blue where it comes into 
contact with the costume of the Landsknecht, how it 
takes a pearl-gray tone when it stands near purple, or 
a sky-blue or, again, a violet-gray tone, according as it 
meets scarlet or red-brown, how the modifications of 
the red correspond to the incidence of the light, and 
what delightful tints the greenish lemon-yellow of Sam- 
son's doublet assumes under the strong illumination. 
At the same time each colour is appropriate to the char- 
acter of the wearer: the strong yellow befits the hercu- 
lean strength of the hero, and the flickering blue, the 
colour of yearning passion, suits the sensual excitement 
that possesses Delilah. Furthermore, the colours are 
made to play their part in the definition of space, for 
the succession of red, yellow, and blue toward the depth 
of the picture accords with the relative length of the 
ether- waves that produce these colours. 



In addition to its general artistic interest this picture 
has an historical significance that must appeal to all 
who like to see great periods and the great spirits of the 
past mirrored in immortal works. 

By nature the Hollander is peaceful and moderate, 
serious and thoughtful, as Rembrandt's work, taken as 
a whole, goes far to prove. But it would be an error 
to assume that he lacks passion. Fearing to compro- 
mise his dignity, he long maintains his reserve; but 
when passion overcomes him it suddenly breaks forth 
with an impetuosity that bursts every barrier. What 
an expression of unrestrained brutality often charac- 
terizes the peasant scenes of Dutch painters! Among 
Latin peoples suavity and grace may consist with an 
outbreak of passion, and to the light Flemish nature 
strong emotions are not so unfamiliar that they are apt 
to declare themselves abruptly. But in his more ex- 
ceptional moods the Dutchman loses the self-control 
which at other times he maintains to an excessive de- 
gree, and becomes as naive and ruthless as a child, as 
terrible as a madman. 

Compared with one of the fallen angels of Rubens, a 
figure like Rembrandt's Samson is full of hard corners 
and edges. At certain points hands and feet are bent 
at right angles. Rubens would not have permitted 
such sharp lines as those of the soldier's halberd in the 
foreground and the corner of the curtain to cut across 
the composition, nor would he have created such abrupt 
diagonals as those of Samson's right foot and the lines 
that unite it with the head of the man who is lying under 
him. In this composition of only five figures the hard 
lines running counter to one another produce a more 

[ 154] 

Rembrandt's blinding of samson 

vivid impression of a wild chaotic turmoil than the 
harmonized lines of other painters in compositions with 
ten times as many figures. When Rubens paints a 
dramatic scene the individual bends before the whirl- 
wind that sways the group as a whole. But in this 
picture of Rembrandt's each personage obeys only the 
laws of his own being, and with incredible vigour en- 
forces his will upon the course of the action. Every 
movement — the action of the self-confident soldier 
firmly grasping his halberd, of Samson clenching his 
fists, of the executioner who seizes the hero around the 
body, and of the one who fastens the fetters — is with- 
out a parallel as the expression of an intense and con- 
centrated act of will. 

Nevertheless there is a unifying element in the com- 
position which offsets the disintegrating force of ac- 
centuated individuality. It is not, as with Rubens, 
the vigorously combined action of bodies all swaying 
in the same direction; it is a rhythm of contrasted 
movements controlling all the figures. Samson has 
been thrown sidewise to the ground toward the right 
while the helmeted soldier who is wounding him 
thrusts at him from the opposite side; the second sol- 
dier draws the fetters together toward the left again, 
and on this same side the third presses forward from 
the right-hand corner of the picture. These counter- 
movements are most conspicuous in the two main fig- 
ures, Samson and Delilah. The action of Delilah, 
pressing toward the other side of the frame and form- 
ing a contrast to the axis of the figure of the fallen hero, 
is brought back within the confines of the picture by 
the opposite movement of the Landsknecht whose arched 



silhouette forms an admirable finish to the composition 
on this side. Although this rhythm prevails all through 
the picture it is most effective in the figures that can 
be separately considered, Delilah and the Landshnecht. 
And this seems natural when we remember that this 
particular kind of rhythm is merely a result of that 
tendency to individual characterization which succeeds 
best with detached figures. As in Rembrandt's com- 
positions each figure reluctantly sacrifices its person- 
ality in the interest of the whole, his representations of 
crowds are often confused in effect, as is here the case 
in a small way with the group of soldiers around Sam- 
son. It needs a search to discover to which figures 
in this tangle the various limbs belong. It is possible, 
indeed, that the artist made his soldiers somewhat 
alike in type and in costume in order to give the group 
an inner coherence, and perhaps he needed a certain 
confusion to augment the horror of the scene. Yet it 
cannot be denied that the most impressive figures are 
the two that are detached, Delilah and the Landshnecht, 
whereas with Rubens the figures that are separated from 
the mass are often weak in effect because insufficiently 
individualized. How strongly characterized are Deli- 
lah and the Landshnecht! The man is a vagabond of 
the kind that excites no anger, for he is full of the poetry 
of gypsy life. He is at one with his picturesque cos- 
tume as is the Cossack with his horse. It is a triumph 
of northern costume-painting that we cannot think of 
him apart from his dress. The bristly moustache and 
the cocked-up fur cap, the huge fists and the broad 
shoes, the wide trunk-hose, the bluntly curved point 
of the halberd, the clumsy curve of the scabbard, and 


Rembrandt's blinding of samson 

the thick turned-up nose — all seem to have been cast 
in the same mould. Of course at bottom it is simply 
the artist's sense of style that gives the figure such 
completeness. But only a genius can thus infuse with 
his own spirit, his own style, a complicated as well as 
a simple subject. In Delilah we have an absolute con- 
trast to the women of Rubens whose life, as some one 
has said, is wholly on the surface. She is the very 
embodiment of the passion that glows within her and 
flames from her eyes. Only a master who knew how 
to translate into colour and line the utmost refinements 
of emotional experience could have expressed in this 
countenance such mixed feelings as voluptuousness and 
cruelty, pride and the joy of victory. 

Moreover, Rembrandt's art has succeeded in making 
us sympathize with the victor in this gruesome scene. In 
Delilah we recognize the triumph of a subtile intelligence 
over the gross folly of her lover. Yet we admire the way 
in which one man struggles with the superior strength 
of four and almost prevails against it. We look with 
astonishment at these fighters' fists, and believe in 
their power to carry off the gates of cities and to break 
the pillars of palaces in pieces. But as in all this ten- 
sion of elemental force the mind, the soul, has no part, 
we sympathize more with the mercenaries, for, worthy 
representatives of the common sort, they are perform- 
ing their task like men, in a careful and competent way. 
Riegl once called the Hollanders the painters of atten- 
tiveness. The Landsknecht is a striking example of this, 
a true Dutch type, a combination of conscientiousness, 
persistence, and unerring observation. 

The Blinding of Samson breathes the spirit of the 



time as well as the spirit of the race. It dates from 
that period of the artist's life when he was most strongly 
influenced by Baroque art, as may at once be seen 
in apparently unimportant details. The canvas is al- 
most square, with rounded upper corners, a form that 
Rembrandt repeatedly chose — for example, for the 
Sophonisba at Madrid, the Preaching of John the 
Baptist at Berlin, and the Danae at St. Petersburg. 
It is a form characteristic of the Baroque period which, 
loving to break away from the simple proportions of 
the Renaissance, used the oval in place of the circle, 
and an oblong or only approximately square shape in 
place of the actual square. So also it rounded the 
corners of the upper part of a picture into shallow curves 
instead of preserving the semicircular shape preferred 
in Renaissance times. Probably the Blinding of Sam- 
son was originally fitted into a slightly curved Baroque 

All the decorations of the splendid scene are also 
Baroque in taste — the draperies, the fantastic cos- 
tumes, the vessels in the style of Lutma on the table, 
and the various weapons which are specifically Baroque 
in their outlines. For instance, for the dagger used to 
blind the fallen Samson, Rembrandt chose not merely a 
Javanese creese but one with a wavy blade; and this 
dagger harmonizes with the short serpentine lines as- 
sumed by the contours in all parts of the composition, 
for wherever these seem to be elongated, as in the main 
diagonals, they are always curved, to be cut off flat at 
the ends or to form obtuse angles with lines that run 
counter to them. 

Finally, the distribution of the light is Baroque, and 


Rembrandt's blinding of samson 

in a double sense. On one side it throws the figures 
into more than half -relief; elsewhere it reduces them 
almost to silhouettes. In both directions this exagger- 
ation, if one dare call it so, was unknown to the Renais- 
sance. To take an example from an allied art, we need 
only compare a Renaissance medal — one of Pisanello's, 
say — with a Dutch medal of the seventeenth century. 
The diversity in conception that marks the two periods 
shows at once in the difference in the character of the 
relief, the subject in the one case scarcely emerging 
from the field while in the other it is raised so high 
that the figures almost seem to be severed from the 
background. In a similar way the seventeenth-century 
painters, markedly subjective in temperament, usually 
show a tendency to let certain parts of a picture stand 
out in front of its first plane. It is not needful to dwell 
upon this in the case of painters like Rubens and Jor- 
daens; but with Rembrandt too it often happens that 
hands are stretched out to us, horses spring forward 
from within the frame, and — the Night Watch is an 
instance — figures appear to be stepping forth from 
the canvas. About the year 1635 Rembrandt seems 
to have made studies with such ends in view. His por- 
trait of himself with a helmet at Cassel supplies a sort 
of precedent for the two helmeted men who stand out 
from the Blinding of Samson in such strong relief; 
and later on we find in the Night Watch an analo- 
gous figure of a soldier whose head is boldly modelled 
out from the picture. This exaggerated kind of relief 
is counterbalanced by the attenuation of substantial 
things to shadowy outlines. These methods of treat- 
ment, fully developed in Rococo art, had their begin- 



nings in Baroque art, and to no small degree in the art of 
Rembrandt. As a rule Rembrandt depicts the shadow 
that a figure casts upon the wall and fuses the figure with 
the shadow or shows it as a silhouette upon a luminous 
field, as in the early representation of the Supper at 
Emmaus in the Andre Museum at Paris. A similar 
although less conspicuous effect may be noted in the 
treatment of our Landsknecht where the characteristic 
contour, making the same demands as a silhouette, has 
been studied with exceptional care. 

But everything in this picture that expresses the 
spirit of the time or the spirit of the race is comprised 
in its expression of personal experience. In this respect 
it is the chief monument of Rembrandt's formative 
period, which has been called his period of storm and 
stress, and which coincided with the first happy years 
of his married life with Saskia whose type of face may 
be recognized in Delilah's. It was then universally be- 
lieved in Amsterdam that he was leading a riotous ex- 
istence and squandering his possessions upon his young 

The picture voices a delight in richness, splendour, 
and profusion. It reminds us of some tale from the 
Arabian Nights. Samson is clad in silk with a brightly 
variegated girdle, Delilah is adorned with a filmy veil, 
bracelets of pearl, and golden chains, and the soldiers 
shine in burnished armour, richly chased weapons in 
their hands and feathers on their heads. At this time 
Rembrandt loved to give his personages full voluptuous 
forms, and eyes such as he gave them neither in earlier 
nor in later years, passionate eyes that turn a wide gaze 
upon the world and drink in all they see. Even in his 




Rembrandt's blinding of samson 

portraits he gave his sitters this look and surrounded 
them with the splendour of jewels and rich stuffs. The 
two portrait figures in the Liechtenstein Gallery at 
Vienna, painted in all their pomp in the same year as 
our picture, may well be compared with the heads of 
Delilah and the Landsknecht. 

In the paintings of this period, including the Blind- 
ing of Samson, there is a threefold revelation of 
Rembrandt's mood. They reveal sensuality and cruelty 
and, lying back of both these traits, a wild and 
vague kind of excitement that drove the figures that 
grew beneath his hand into agitated tempestuous ac- 
tion. More than once pictures like the Danae at 
St. Petersburg and the idealized portrait of Saskia as 
Flora, owned by the Duke of Buccleugh, have been 
grouped together as betraying sensuality; and beside 
them may be set the indecent sketches that give rein 
to the broad humour of a northern barbarian and even 
inject it into Biblical scenes such as the Preaching of 
John the Baptist at Berlin. As sensuality and cruelty 
are blood relations, it is not by chance that we find 
compositions of this period that seem to reveal an 
utter lack of feeling which Rembrandt less than any 
one else might be expected to show. In the year 1635 
he etched the Stoning of Stephen where one of the 
executioners poises a huge stone that threatens to 
crush the feeble and slender body of the saint. And 
in the same category belong a number of representa- 
tions of the Passion and certain other drawings — for 
example, the Beheading of Holof ernes where the trunk of 
the dead man immediately confronts the spectator. 

Examples of the expression of strong excitement 

[ 161 ] 


need hardly be cited. Closely akin in spirit to the 
Blinding of Samson is the Abraham's Sacrifice of 
the same year, particularly the second version of it 
which is now at Munich. In the study for this, pre- 
served in the British Museum, the fluttering garments 
and contorted limbs look as though they were caught 
in a whirlwind. Another drawing, equally tumultuous, 
the Christ Bearing the Cross in the Berlin Print 
Room, vividly recalls our picture in its arrangement. 
The Virgin, who is sinking back, and the woman be- 
hind the cross, who is hurrying forward, may be com- 
pared in their contrasted movements to the figures of 
Samson and Delilah. In other cases where the con- 
ception speaks less plainly of the passionate mood that 
possessed Rembrandt at this time the technique shows 
it clearly enough. In the drawings of these years the 
pen bites deep into the paper, and restless confused 
flourishes accompany the vigorous main lines. 

This picture of the Blinding of Samson, which 
gives the key to an understanding of all the forces 
that swayed the artist during his period of storm and 
stress, forces that elsewhere reveal themselves singly, 
will not appeal to every one. It will not please the 
feminine spirit which can seldom accept brutality even 
when it assumes an artistic form. It will not content 
the decadent sentimentalist who would rather see the 
Landsknecht playing with his dagger in front of Samson's 
eyes, as Salome disports herself before the head of John 
the Baptist in Quentin Metsys' picture at Antwerp, 
or who may crave a more definite portrayal of sensu- 
ality than is attempted here, where the charm is broken 
and the conflict ended. Nor will it satisfy those among 

[ 162] 



Rembrandt's blinding of samson 

the painter's admirers who care only for the Rem- 
brandt of those latter years when he was sinking 
into depths of meditation. But how is it possible to 
understand the final results of the life of such an artist 
unless we accompany him along the path that led to 

Certainly there speak from his later works an un- 
fathomable experience, an astonishing faculty of spirit- 
ual perception, and a dominating sense of melancholy 
calm that were not foretold in the works of earlier 
years. But on the other hand his old age lacked what 
the stormy transition period between youth and man- 
hood had possessed — exultant joy, burning passion, 
and confidence in his own boundless powers and in a 
great future. It is by reason of these qualities that 
Rembrandt's earlier works instantly take us captive. 
But we cannot have all of his characteristics in the 
same work of art; there is not room in the soul for 
storm and peacefulness to dwell together. And while 
it may be that his later works should be more highly 
prized than the earlier ones, while it may be that the 
development of a great master always means progress, 
nevertheless this much is certain: in many of the pic- 
tures that Rembrandt painted between 1630 and 1640 
he reached the very highest level. An incessant change 
of problems is more conspicuous in his career than a 
growth in ability; and criticism should not try to meas- 
ure these steps if it is thereby tempted to depreciate 
what is great in favour of something that may be even 

[ 163] 



WE have long been accustomed to the unfa- 
vourable criticisms passed by mediocre painters 
upon the works of other artists. Great paint- 
ers are milder in their judgments. They may, indeed, 
be gruff and evasive when they are in the creative mood, 
preoccupied with themselves, or when they are forced to 
put their views into words. Then, awkward perhaps 
or scornful, they may over-emphasize an opinion. But 
this is not their way in the pregnant moments when they 
are gathering impressions for future use. Then they 
are content with the humblest material that presents 
itself. It almost seems as though they lingered longest 
in front of the most commonplace examples of their art. 
Perhaps the only way they can learn of others is by 
using what they gather to express themselves, and are 
therefore best pleased when not confronted by a very 
lofty personality. 

At times Rembrandt studied insignificant painters 
like Marten van Heemskerk, a mannerist — not even 
a refined but merely a clumsy mannerist — who has 




bembrandt's representations of susanna 

hardly any importance to-day except from the historical 
point of view. Rembrandt's teacher, Pieter Lastman, 
also seems to us to have little individuality, permanent 
though the impression was that he made on the great 

It has been pointed out that a well-known large red- 
chalk drawing of Rembrandt's, in the possession of 
Leon Bonnat at Paris, reproduces a picture of Pieter 
Lastman's, now in private ownership in Russia, which 
was famous in his time. A comparison of the large 
drawing of Susanna in the Berlin Print Room with a 
picture of Lastman's in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum 
shows a similar relationship, being, again, an almost 
exact copy. So when we remember that in the Fried- 
rich August Collection at Dresden there is a third 
drawing in red chalk of about the same size, after 
Leonardo's Last Supper, it seems possible that all 
these pages formed part of a sketchbook containing 
copies by Rembrandt of the works of other masters. 

It is not a thing to grieve about when scientific criti- 
cism traces back to another artist some theme which 
has been thought of Rembrandt's own invention. We 
admire him all the more when we see what he created 
with the aid of the work that lay before him. Put 
Lastman's and Rembrandt's paintings of Susanna 
side by side and the distance between them seems 
immeasurable. Psychological intention, material em- 
bodiment, technique, even the fashioning of the figures 
as regards external beauty — there is nothing in which 
Rembrandt does not far surpass his predecessor. His 
delicate charming creature with her shy gestures is like 
thistledown compared to Lastman's broad and heavy 



figure sitting in a bundle of clothes on a misshapen 
stone sphynx. As light as the ripples that lave her 
feet she slips into the water, the supple body obeying an 
agile spirit, while with Lastman's Susanna the form 
responds to the spirit with an evident indolence. Rem- 
brandt's Susanna is in strong illumination as the 
centre of the scheme of lighting; everything around 
her, including the two elders, sinks into shadow. With 
Lastman the graybeard is too prominent. He stands 
like an Italian draped statue but blank and meaning- 
less, for neither in the structure of his body nor in the 
folds of his garment is there a trace of beauty. His 
face is almost concealed, and so is that of the other 
elder in which we might expect to find a reflection of the 
action. The gestures of both are importunate but not 
at all expressive ; one trembles with excitement — to 
the spectator he seems almost comical — while the 
second, likewise draped in the Italian manner, makes 
pathetic signs behind Susanna's back although she can- 
not see him. Rembrandt's elders, on the other hand, 
are full of a glowing sensuality that speaks from the 
hasty steps with which they come forward, and from 
their loose and bulging garments. How repulsive are 
their faces distorted by desire, how ardent are their 
glances, almost overpassing the goal in their excitement, 
how vulgarly one of them laughs with pinched nostrils 
while the other protrudes his lips and by the fist that he 
holds up to his mouth betrays the import of his whispers ! 

The great advance in plastic feeling that marked the 
thirty years between Lastman's painting and Rem- 
brandt's shows also in the different way of indicating 
depth in the picture. Rembrandt's foliage, instead of 

[ 166 ] 



Rembrandt's representations of susanna 

forming a flat dark wall as it does in the earlier work, 
arches into broad masses defined by streams of light. 
In place of the rectangular palace with its lean sil- 
houette a heavily massed circular building soars high 
above the splendid terraces that encircle it. And here 
the three figures clearly mark three successive degrees of 
distance, while with Lastman two are in the same plane 
and the third is too much in shadow to help much in the 
indication of depth. 

It is true that Lastman 's picture bears witness to 
well-trained powers and an upright sturdy spirit, but 
they are shallow powers, a shallow spirit, as compared 
with the sagacity, the brilliancy, the profound intelli- 
gence of Rembrandt. Thus all of Lastman's pictures 
dwindle to insignificance if contrasted even with the 
awkward juvenile essays of his great pupil. They may 
serve us as milestones with which to measure the long 
road that from this point of departure Rembrandt 

As regards his portrayals of Susanna, the first 
step is marked by the red-chalk drawing at Berlin. 
In spite of the rapidity with which it must have been 
done, it betters the original at more than one point. 
In particular the bearing of the hesitating elder has 
grown more dignified; he is hoping to make an impres- 
sion by a convincing display of self-restraint. Su- 
sanna's glance is now almost devoid of fear and is much 
more intense and repellent. The second elder is 
more prominent, the mantle has fallen from his face, 
and he seems to be grasping Susanna by the hair. 
Were the sketch carried farther the expression of his 
face, important as explanatory of the action, would be 

[ 167] 


more clearly marked than it is with Lastman. A 
change in a subordinate feature of the composition also 
shows the desire to give the action more point: with 
Lastman both the peacocks sit quietly on the branches ; 
with Rembrandt one of them flutters up as the old man 
comes too near him. 

A pen-drawing of about the year 1635, which is also 
in the Berlin Print Room, where almost all of Rem- 
brandt's studies of Susanna chance to be gathered 
together, marks a second step away from Lastman. 
In the action as well as in the penstrokes it reveals 
the vehement agitation of this period of the artist's 
life. Susanna is crouching in terror and shielding 
breast and body with her hands, for the elders are 
close upon her. Intending to seize her, one of them has 
set his foot on her stone seat but draws back as she 
impetuously turns her head. The other is pointing 
excitedly over her head into the distance — a gesture 
which is not clearly connected with the action but is 
intended, perhaps, merely to enhance the effect of Su- 
sanna's hasty movement. She is, indeed, still seated 
with her feet together as in Lastman's picture, but 
in the elasticity of her body we read the impulse to 

The same idea is expressed more fully in the picture 
in the Mauritshuis at the Hague, painted most prob- 
ably in 1637. Susanna is advancing her feet for flight 
as she thrusts them into her slippers, and at the same 
time is trying to screen her body. The rendering of 
the movement that indicates this double intention pro- 
claims the power of Rembrandt's art, for it bears 
witness to the great freedom of spirit that he bestowed 



Rembrandt's representations of susanna 

upon his figures. Such differentiations would have 
been impossible to Lastman. Characteristic of Rem- 
brandt again is a detail which, hindering the action, 
emphasizes the emotional disturbance — the failure of 
one of the feet to find its way into the slipper.* 

In the presence of the original of this picture it may 
often have been remarked that the treatment of the 
foliage to the right of Susanna with its cabbage-like 
forms, and of the garments with their crisped and wavy 
folds, conspicuously recalls Eastman's work. This re- 
semblance, exceptional at this period of Rembrandt's 
career, is explained by our knowledge of the fact that 
he had recently been studying one of his master's most 
important canvases. 

All the rest of Rembrandt's representations of Su- 
sanna at the Bath, with the exception of one drawing 
of later date, group themselves around the Berlin pic- 
ture. They include two studies in oil with the single 
figure of Susanna, one of which is in the Louvre and 
the other in Bonnat's possession, and two drawings — 
a crayon-drawing at Berlin,f likewise portraying Su- 
sanna, and a detailed composition in pen-and-ink at 

*In a similar way the St. Jerome in Ecstasy in an early work, which we know only 
in the print by Vlietsch, is losing one slipper, and so, in the picture at St. Peters- 
burg, is the Prodigal Son as he begs his father for forgiveness. The creators of 
the modern psychological novel are not the first to observe that at critical moments 
in the life of the soul the attention may be focussed upon unworthy trifles. 

fin my opinion Hofstede de Groot in his catalogue of Rembrandt's drawings, and 
Bode in the third volume of his book on Rembrandt, date these drawings ten years 
too early (about 1635-37). The turn of the head and the position of the back 
correspond with the picture at Berlin, and the model wears the same cap as in the 
studies in oil at Paris. About the year 1645 Rembrandt commonly used this black 
crayon for his drawings, as in the sketches for the young girl at Dulwich College 
and for the old woman at St. Petersburg, in studies of beggars, and in landscape 



Amsterdam.* As Herr Hofstede de Groot kindly 
informs me, there are furthermore two studies, un- 
known to me, for one of the Jews in the Berlin picture — 
a sketch in oils owned by Leon Nardus of Suresnes near 
Paris and a drawing in the Heseltine Collection at 

In painting the Berlin picture Rembrandt probably 
had the earlier one, the one now at the Hague, under his 
eyes, for it is hardly conceivable that otherwise he could 
have reproduced the pose so exactly, especially as regards 
the lower part of the body. But the type of face has 
changed. Instead of the elongated type recalling Sas- 
kia we have now the rounder, more childlike girl's face 
that begins to appear in Rembrandt's work somewhere 
about the year 1647 — the type of Hendrickje.f The 
whole conception has become tenderer and more 
charming as appears if we compare, for example, the 
Berlin sketch for the picture at the Hague with the 
very delightful childlike composition at Amsterdam 
which, dating from about 1645, is, on the other hand, 
a study for the Berlin picture. Instead of a bold out- 
break of gross passion we have an eager but almost 
harmless pursuit, a game between two comically elo- 
quent old men and a child whose hair, loosened in her 
fright, falls in thin strands as though it were wet. 

In both of the pictures, because of the slower 

*The very elaborate drawing at Budapest (reproduced in the Publikation der Al- 
bertinazeichnungen and recently in Graul, Fiinfzig Handzeichnungen Rembrandt's, 
Leipzig, 1906) is certainly not an original, but is probably a pupil's copy from the 
picture, and was therefore quite rightly rejected by Hofstede de Groot. 

f I still adhere to the belief I have already expressed that by this time Hendrickje 
was living with Rembrandt and influencing the type of his female figures. Com- 
pare also in this connection Charles Sedelmeyer's essay of 1912 on the Woman 
Taken in Adultery of the Weber Collection. 


rembrandt's representations of susanna 

process of painting in oil, the conception has grown 
quieter and psychologically more complicated. At the 
same time it has grown less naive, for the fact that 
Susanna is looking out from the picture indicates a 
thought of the spectator. By this means Rembrandt 
avoided that over-abrupt turning of Susanna's head 
toward the elders which had not been successful with 
Lastman and which has a touch of exaggeration in his 
own first drawing. Perhaps, too, Rembrandt was no 
longer pleased with the rather heavy line of the back 
and shoulders in the earlier picture, for he begins to 
work at it in the studies for the picture at Berlin. In 
the crayon -drawing and in both the Paris studies in oil 
he pays particular attention to the articulation of the 
arm at the shoulder, to the back, and to the muscles of 
the neck at the turn of the head; the study in the Louvre 
is especially careful in regard to the left foot and the 
arrangement of the drapery which forms along the 
back a fold ready for the elder's grasp; and the sketch 
owned by Bonnat is concerned with the facial expres- 
sion. As a result, the line of Susanna's back is more 
vital in the later than in the earlier painting and wins 
an added grace from the concave curves at the neck 
and the hip. The last trace of materiality that clung 
to the figure has disappeared. 

Once again, about ten years later, Rembrandt re- 
turned in a passing way to the same subject, in a pen- 
drawing now at Berlin. As is usual in the works of 
his old age, he no longer seeks for new subjects. He 
is content to simplify or, if you will, to repeat in a 
blunter fashion what he had thought out at an earlier 
time. In the grouping of the figures and the attitude 



of each of them there is a close likeness to the Berlin 
picture, but the subtile interpretation of the essence of 
the theme has been foregone and the mystical glamour 
has vanished. There is now no pleasant hollow among 
verdant branches, no soft murmur of foliage, no radi- 
ance of scattered light. Broad clusters of leafage con- 
verge from the two sides, forbidding to the eye any 
glimpse into the distance. The expression of sensuality 
is more pronounced. The figures stand closer together 
and nearer to the spectator; they are larger in propor- 
tion to the space and their attitudes are less complex, 
being reduced to a couple of strongly angular move- 
ments. Accessories are renounced, the composition 
that encloses the figures on the right hand and the left 
is of narrower shape, and the contrast between the 
nude female figure and the architecture that enframes 
the group in a broad symmetrical fashion is more 
strongly marked. Nor does Susanna now slip away, 
light-footed, from her pursuers. She is standing up to 
her knees in the water; escape is impossible. 

We can hardly help wondering at the consistent way 
in which, during so long a period, Rembrandt's imagi- 
nation worked upon this series of representations of 
Susanna. Between one and another of them there lay 
hundreds of sketches and completed works inspired by 
different themes and ideas, and only in a single instance 
can we perhaps plausibly assume that the artist had 
an earlier version of his subject actually under his eyes. 
We wonder whether at other times he may have re- 
membered with distinctness one of the sketches done 
several years before. But it seems more probable that 
his nature remained from first to last essentially so 

[ 172] 



rembrandt's representations of susanna 

unchanged that the same subject always suggested to 
his imagination a picture of fundamentally the same 
kind. In truth, Rembrandt's whole development, which 
seems to us so rich, was simply a development in the 
outward shaping of ideas which had possessed him from 
the very beginning. 




RUBENS is less well represented in American 
collections than the other great masters of the 
- seventeenth century — than Rembrandt, Frans 
Hals, or Vermeer, than Velasquez or van Dyck. I have 
seen about forty of his pictures, some twenty of them 
sketches and most of them unpublished, but this is a 
very small number compared with those preserved 
in Europe where there must be almost a thousand. 
America has now about one eighth of the pictures of 
Rembrandt (about eighty in a total of six hundred and 
sixty) and of Velasquez (about twelve in one hundred) ; 
it has one sixth of those by Frans Hals (about fifty in 
three hundred) and almost one fourth of Vermeer's 
(about eight in thirty-seven); and if it has relatively 
fewer of van Dyck's (about forty in a total of eight 
hundred), the level of excellence is all the higher, espe- 
cially in the pictures of his Genoese period. 

While the great private collections of America long 
since admitted van Dyck, they open their doors more 
hesitatingly to his great master. In the Altman, Frick, 
and Huntington Collections in New York Rubens is 



not represented at all. Mrs. Gardner of Boston has 
only one portrait, Mr. Widener of Philadelphia only a 
single sketch. The laudable exception is Mr. Johnson 
of Philadelphia who has a special liking for Rubens' 
studies and owns almost one fourth of the works from 
his hand that have thus far crossed the ocean. As in 
general the great collectors still show so little interest 
in Rubens, small examples are more numerous than 
large and finished pictures intended for a church or a 
palace. But this is not a matter for regret to any one 
who wishes to speak of them, for by common consent 
Rubens' sketches reveal the very essence of his genius. 

To express these new-born ideas, which are conceived 
in the joyous mood of a discoverer and do not seem to 
ask for a more explicit rendering, Rubens used canvas 
and brush, whereas Rembrandt, whose work tends more 
toward monochrome, generally sketched his composi- 
tions with a pen on paper. Such drawings in crayon 
and in pen-and-ink as Rubens did produce are almost 
all careful preparatory studies for certain parts of his 
large paintings. Therefore his sketches in oil hold the 
same place in his work that is held in Rembrandt's 
by the compositions that we find among his drawings. 
And the same difficulties attend a study of the one 
group and the other. We might suppose that it would 
be particularly hard to imitate great artists in their 
hasty sketches, but Rubens' sketches in oil, like Rem- 
brandt's drawings, were so cleverly copied by his pu- 
pils that their transcripts, unless betrayed by a direct 
comparison with the originals, might usually be mis- 
taken for them. Three or four instances of this simi- 
larity occur in the series representing the story of 



Achilles, of which I shall speak again on a later page; 
the first studies, small in size, recur two or three times, 
and there is also a series of rather larger ones which 
are likewise so broadly and sketchily handled that if 
the originals were unknown we should hardly think of 
them as done in part by pupils. 

In considering the works by Rubens in American col- 
lections we may group together the pictures of the first 
half of his career, from about 1603 to 1620. The most 
important of the finished compositions of this period 
are the double portrait owned by Mrs. Robert D. 
Evans of Boston and the Wolf and Fox Hunt in the 
Metropolitan Museum of Art at New York, but a few 
sketches and large pictures are of earlier date than these. 

The Marriage of St. Catherine in the collection 
of Mr. Rodman Wanamaker of Philadelphia, known 
through the reproduction in Rosenberg's Klassiher der 
Kunst, is thought to be the earliest Rubens in America. 
Waagen was the first to point out that this rather timid 
piece of work must date from the end of Rubens' Italian 
period, from about the year 1604. Dr. Gliick attrib- 
utes it, probably with justice, to one of Rubens' pupils, 
Jan Boeckhorst. I have not as yet had access to the 

A Crucifixion owned by Mr. Johnson brings us to the 
time of that great unfolding of the artist's powers in 
official ecclesiastical paintings which brought him world- 
wide fame, the time of the Raising of the Cross 
and the Descent from the Cross in the cathedral at 
Antwerp. Mr. Johnson's picture, painted about 1610 
and perhaps not entirely by Rubens' own hand, is a 
variant of the oft-recurring composition with a simpler 



and more sympathetically studied landscape. Although 
the dramatic success of such scenes merits the highest 
admiration, their passionate appeal to the spectator is 
so undisguised that they can hardly stir his deepest 

In a sketch in the same collection, showing Paul and 
Barnabas at Lystra, and probably painted about 1612, 
the pagan priests are trying to prevent the followers of 
Christ from denouncing their idolatrous rites. The 
varied play of gesture in this row of similar figures and 
the great diversity of their attitudes, arranged though 
they are with their heads at the same level, remind one 
of the Woman Taken in Adultery, at Brussels, and 
the Diogenes, at Frankfort. Characteristic of the 
style of this period are the tight contours of the heads > 
the heavy elongated folds of the draperies, and certain 
masculine types such as the high priest and the bearded 
old man with bent head in the centre of the composi- 
tion. The sketch, which has been somewhat repainted, 
is done chiefly in brown slightly tinged with green and 
yellow in the illumined parts. 

To realize Rubens' marvellous versatility we may 
compare these studies with one, a little later in date, 
of the Childhood of Romulus and Remus, also in Mr. 
Johnson's collection. Here there is nothing of the 
conventional ecclesiasticism of the Crucifixions and 
nothing of the impassioned yet monumental action of 
the scene at Lystra. The buoyant spirit of the artist 
has turned a cold allegorical theme, the glorification of 
the founding of Rome, into a delightful genre-picture 
with a landscape setting. Roma, the young mother, 
is trying in vain to keep both her sturdy struggling 

[ 177] 


boys on her lap; one of them is clambering up to his 
father, Mars arrayed for battle, who has plucked a 
fruit from the tree for him, while the other leans back 
toward the wolf that gently submits to be stroked. A 
shepherd, a satyr, and Father Tiber, lying at his ease 
among the reeds, take pleasure in the charming scene. 
It is a masterpiece, this study, in the art of grouping. 
Each figure is in natural and animated relations with 
the others, and the artist's inexhaustible dramatic 
power, which can never let his figures come to rest, has 
given them here a delightful eloquence. The joyous 
mood of the sunny landscape is reflected in the spring- 
like colours of the costumes, a tender blue and a pale 
rose-colour standing out against the thinly brushed-in 
brown of the background. Only one picture by Ru- 
bens of Romulus and Remus has hitherto been known, 
the familiar one, dating from about 1607, in the Capitol 
at Rome. The present study may be identical with 
the sketch mentioned in the inventory of the Lunden 
family, who were kinsmen of Rubens, and perhaps also 
with the work that in 1781 Sir Joshua Reynolds saw 
in the house of Danoot, a banker at Brussels. 

An authentic work, probably of the year 1615, is the 
Bestowal of the Keys, formerly owned by Mr. W. R. 
Bacon and more recently by Blakeslee the art dealer 
in New York — a picture that was shown to the Euro- 
pean public at the Brussels Exhibition a few years ago. 
In the solid effect of the red and yellow hues and in the 
heavy handling it resembles the Doubting Thomas 
at Antwerp and the Penitent Sinners in the Presence of 
Christ at Munich, which are similar in composition and 
were painted at the same time. 





To this time must also belong the striking double 
portrait owned by Mrs. Robert D. Evans of Boston. 
Here the difficult problem of uniting two persons in 
one picture is solved by the use of a diagonal arrange- 
ment, frequently employed by Rubens and also by 
Rembrandt, which comports with the preference for 
asymmetry that characterized the Baroque period. 
The woman is seated, the man is standing behind her, 
and the two figures are bound together by the light 
that, falling on both the heads, is carried in a slanting 
direction to the woman's bodice and hands. Com- 
bining in a rare degree the careful rendering of details 
and a personal succinct manner of presentation, Rubens 
has portrayed the inmost nature of the two simple 
burghers — the man with the frank, naively sensuous 
temperament, and the blooming young woman with the 
roguish smile and the enticing upward glance which 
van Dyck, adding a touch of theatrical subtilty, so 
often gave his sitters. The straightforward realism 
of the picture and the smoothness of the handling re- 
call the best works of Cornells de Vos, while in breadth 
of style and in the vitality of the figures it reminds us 
of Jordaens, although both these painters lacked the 
keenness of perception and the highly intellectual 
power of characterization revealed by the expressive 
heads. Even though a portrait was in question Jor- 
daens, to whom this one has sometimes been attributed, 
would have been more attracted by the externals than 
by the spirit of his theme, as is proved by his master- 
piece in portraiture, his own likeness in the Uffizi. 
Here we have the same type, but in comparison with 
the head in Rubens' picture the features lack nobility, 



the mouth is coarser, the eyes are duller. Comparing, 
again, the woman's head with the one in the Family 
of Jordaens at Madrid, I am tempted to believe that 
the double portrait represents Jordaens and his wife. 
If so, it must have been painted in 1616, the year when 
Jordaens married Catherine Noort, and is a beautiful 
memorial of the friendship between the two comrades 
in the studio of Adam Noort^ Rubens' teacher and Jor- 
daens' father-in-law. 

The large Wolf and Fox Hunt in the Metropoli- 
tan Museum takes us from the artist's intimate sur- 
roundings to that phase of his activity in which he met 
the requirements of foreign aristocrats. 

While his great devotional altar-pieces established 
his fame in the high ecclesiastical circles of Flanders, 
the large hunting scenes produced between 1612 and 
1616 seem to have carried it into the aristocratic cir- 
cles of foreign lands, and especially of England. As is 
well known, the Wolf Hunt of the New York Mu- 
seum, which has been published several times in recent 
years, came from Lord Ashburton's collection and is 
considered a replica of a still larger canvas that the 
Duke of Aerschot obtained from Rubens and that is 
thought to be lost. A letter, published by Rooses,* 
from the agent Toby Mathew to Sir Dudley Carleton, 
who was for a time ambassador of England at the 
Hague, tells us more about this larger picture. Carle- 
ton had caused an offer for the first version of the Wolf 
Hunt to be submitted to Rubens who refused it as too 
low. The Duke of Aerschot had then got ahead of the 
Englishman and had paid the artist's price, about 

*L'ceuvre de P. P. Rubens. Vol. II, p. 93. 



£100. Thereupon Mathew urged Sir Dudley not to 
be dissatisfied, proposing that he should secure a some- 
what smaller replica which could be had for the sum 
he was willing to pay. Rubens, he said, had seen 
that the first picture was too large, that it could be 
hung only in the apartments of a great palace, and, 
because of his liking for the subject, had painted another 
which measured only 7 by 10 feet whereas the first 
measured between 11 and 12 by 18 feet. Apparently, 
Sir Dudley Carleton obtained this second canvas which 
Rooses has identified with the one in the possession 
of Lord Methuen. It does not seem very probable 
that in addition to these two pictures Rubens painted 
a third, of about the same size as the first, and that all 
knowledge of it has been lost. It is easier to suppose 
that the New York picture is the one acquired by the 
Duke of Aerschot. The difference in dimensions evi- 
dently prevented Rooses from so deciding. But if we 
compare the New York picture with Soutman's en- 
graving we see that it has been considerably cut down on 
all sides, and especially at top and bottom; and if we add 
the missing strips we have a canvas of about 10 by 
16 \ feet, which is not very far from the dimensions given 
by Toby Mathew. Moreover, technically considered, 
the New York picture is all of a piece, and this confirms 
the supposition that it was the first, for the original 
rendering of the subject would be much less likely 
than the third to show collaboration in any marked 
degree. Such a threefold division of the work as has 
sometimes been assumed, giving the animals to Snyders, 
the landscape to Wilders, and the rest to Rubens, is 
hardly credible. It is unlikely that Rubens asked 

[ 181 ] 


Wilders' aid for the little stretch of landscape, very 
freely painted, that he himself could have brushed-in 
in a few minutes. And neither in action nor in tech- 
nique do the animals suggest Snyders; on the contrary, 
they show how greatly, even in this direction, Rubens 
excelled him. 

If we must assume the collaboration of pupils, the 
most plausible supposition is that, after Rubens had 
reproduced his sketch at full size, he left the general exe- 
cution to his assistants but finally went over the whole 
thing with his own hand. This would explain why the 
general effect of the picture is rather hard and why, 
nevertheless, we can everywhere trace the brushstrokes 
of the master himself. Naturally, the final retouching 
by Rubens precludes any attempt to separate the work 
of different hands. In style the picture is very like 
the Wild Boar Hunt at Marseilles, also engraved by 
Soutman, in which we find again the type of the horn- 
blower and of the lady on horseback. 

It seems as though Rubens had determined to por- 
tray all the different ways of hunting wild beasts that 
were practised in Europe or, according to hearsay, in 
the Orient. Besides the wild bear and the wolf hunts 
there are well-known lion and bear hunts, stag hunts, 
crocodile and hippopotamus hunts. And to these may 
be added a hitherto unknown sketch of a steer hunt, 
owned by Ehrich, the New York art dealer, which is 
probably a reproduction of the smaller study that was 
sold at the Sedelmeyer auction in 1907. 

This sketch is composed like a frieze within a long and 
narrow frame, a shape for which Rubens often showed a 
preference in the latter part of his life. Probably it 



dates from about 1635, but in view of its subject it may 
best be considered in connection with the other hunting 
pieces. Such scenes of combat as these that Rubens 
created, scenes so absolutely convincing in their dra- 
matic power, have no parallel in the history of European 
art. In this steer hunt the movement of the animals, 
rushing headlong at their topmost speed, is rendered 
with the same keenness of observation that we find in 
oriental art, and, moreover, the action, which in ori- 
ental art is almost always in one direction, or is sus- 
tained by symmetrically advancing groups, here brings 
into equilibrium two counter-movements of equal force, 
the participants coming from opposite directions and 
crashing together in the centre in a wild medley where 
the eye can but slowly discover the organic relation- 
ships of the component parts. The dramatic content 
corresponds exactly to this external arrangement. It 
is an ever-renewed surprise to find that the fury which 
produced such a turmoil was not miscalculated. The 
dramatic crisis in a hunting scene is usually the mo- 
ment when the bold hunters are in greatest danger from 
the wounded beast yet their victory is nevertheless 
foreseen. In the present picture the steer has attacked 
in his blind rage the horse of one of the hunters who, 
pale of face and scarcely able to hold his lance, is falling 
from the saddle; but the fatal stroke has already been 
planted between the horns of the bull, and the superior 
strength of the assailants who, on foot and on horse- 
back and helped by their dogs, press in with lance and 
sword, leaves the outcome in no doubt. 

Furthermore, we have a study of the Adoration 
of the Kings, in the collection of Sir William Van 

[ 183] 


Home at Montreal, and two studies of the heads of the 
oldest two of the Kings, owned by Mrs. Charles H. 
Senff of New York, which were all painted at the end of 
the second decade of the century. The studies of heads 
were last seen in Europe in 1881, in the Wilson Col- 
lection,* which contained also the third King of the 
same series, a study that was lent to the Brussels Ex- 
hibition by Heer van G elder of Uccle. These three 
pictures prove that, although the current belief that 
finished reproductions of parts of Rubens' well-known 
compositions are not his own work is usually correct, 
sometimes it is mistaken. In the year 1618, as Rooses 
discovered, Rubens made separate replicas of the heads 
of the Three Kings in his great altar-piece at Mechlin 
for the three sons of Balthasar Moretus, in whose family 
the eldest three sons were always named for the Three 
Kings. The identity of the New York pictures and the 
one at Uccle with these replicas is established beyond a 
doubt by the vigour of the handling and the freedom with 
which details of the Mechlin altar-piece are altered. 

On the other hand, Sir William Van Home's sketch 
of the Adoration of the Kings, likewise autographic, 
is a preparatory study for a large altar-piece. In 
general it corresponds with the main group in the pic- 
ture of the same name at Munich, painted in 1619 for 
the Count Palatine Wolfgang W r ilhelm von Neuburg. 
The divergencies prove that it is not a copy but an 
initial version, and in vitality of effect it surpasses 
the altar-piece which was executed for the most part 
by pupils. 

Rubens once wrote: "I realize that I am by nature 

*M. Rooses, L'ceuvre de P. P. Rubens. Vol. I, p. 172. 




more inclined to produce very large works than little 
curiosities. " He must have known in which direction 
his ability was greatest. Yet he sometimes ventured 
with singular success into regions outside of his true 
field, as when he collaborated with Pieter Breughel 
the Elder, a painter whose concern was precisely with 
6 6 little curiosities." It seems as though an external 
impulse may sometimes stimulate the powers of great 
artists. For example, neither Frans Hals nor van Dyck 
often created anything more perfect than the little 
portraits that they prepared for the engraver's use on a 
scale to which they were unaccustomed. So, too, the art 
of Rubens seems to be brought to a focus in the small 
pictures he painted with Breughel, one of the most 
beautiful of which is in America, the Feast of the Gods 
in the collection of Mrs. Samuel Untermyer at Yonkers 
near New York. 

We are not very well pleased to-day by the idea of a 
collaboration between artists as dissimilar as Rubens 
and Breughel. We have a keener desire than prevailed 
in their time to understand the personality of a painter, 
and, easily finding the line between the handiwork of 
these two, we are tempted to draw comparisons. The 
result is unfavourable to Breughel who holds about the 
same place in relation to Rubens as does Gerard Dou 
in relation to Rembrandt. In dwelling upon details 
he loses the thread of the narrative and, notwithstand- 
ing all his care, produces only cold and unnatural com- 
positions, while Rubens seems to mock at this confused 
kind of miniature-painting with the glimmering joy- 
ous beauty of nude bodies that stand out, plastically 
rounded, in the light of a southern sun. 



In his designs for tapestries Rubens adopted per- 
force the same careful manner of treatment within a 
small space, for he was obliged to facilitate to the 
utmost the task of the pupils to whom the enlargement 
of the sketches was entrusted. During the last twenty 
years of his life he prepared designs for three sets of tap- 
estries: in 1621 or 1622 for a History of Constantine, 
between 1626 and 1628 for a Triumph of Dogma, 
and between 1630 and 1635 for a History of Achilles. 
Several sketches with scenes from these series are 
owned in America, and they afford a good chance to 
learn how complicated is the task of distinguishing 
Rubens' own handiwork from studio copies. 

Perhaps the most beautiful of these sketches is the 
one, belonging to the first series, that is reproduced 
in Rosenberg's Klassiker der Kunst (p. 231) and is now 
owned by Mr. Johnson. The Emblem of Christ Ap- 
pearing to the Emperor Constantine is depicted in light 
and brilliant colours with a sensitive feeling for the 
sparkling airy vitality of the sunbeams, and this burst 
of light from heaven floods the groups of warriors that 
crowd around the young emperor, attracting as though 
in a magnetic stream the glances of the rhythmically 
moving figures. 

The second and longest sequence of tapestries, which 
presents a complicated allegory in fifteen pictures, con- 
sists, as Rooses explains, of three parts, showing the tri- 
umph of the eucharist over its enemies, the incidents in 
Old Testament history that are prophetic of the euchar- 
ist, and the portraits of the evangelists, the fathers of 
the church, the sovereigns, and the popes who were 
defenders of the eucharist. To the second part belong 



the two sketches now in America — the Meeting of 
Abraham and Melchizedek in the Johnson Collection 
and a sacrificial scene from the Old Testament that has 
been offered for sale in New York. There are several 
versions of almost all the sketches of this series. Mr. 
Johnson's, which is probably identical with the one cited 
byRooses as in the possession of Mr. Spencer F. A. 
Smith at Clifton Hill in England, may be found again 
in the Prado and also in Lord Northb rook's collection, 
and the other corresponds with a design owned by Lord 
Spencer who also owns the original design for the bor- 
der of the tapestry. Both the sketches now in Amer- 
ica are freely and surely handled, much in the great 
painter's own manner. If no duplicates were known, 
the idea that they may be studio copies would never 
suggest itself. 

Still more complicated is the question of the authen- 
ticity of the designs for the third set of tapestries, 
dealing with the story of Achilles. The six pictures 
owned by Lord Barrymore in London, and exhibited 
at the Grafton Galleries a few years ago, are considered 
by almost every one the original sketches. They in- 
clude: (1) Thetis Dipping Achilles in the Styx; (2) Chiron 
Training the Young Achilles; (3) Thetis Causing Vul- 
can to Forge the Weapons; (4) Achilles and Agamemnon 
Contending for Briseis; (5) The Death of Hector; (6) 
The Death of Achilles. But as one of the sets of tapes- 
tries that were made from these designs was among 
Rubens' effects at the time of his death, and as it 
consisted of ten pieces, it seems as though four of the 
original sketches must be missing from LordBarrymore's 
series. On the other hand, the engravings made by 



Ertringer in 1679 show only eight designs, the two that 
are lacking in Lord Barrymore's series being: (7) Achil- 
les Among the Daughters of Lycomedes, and (8) The 
Return of Briseis to Achilles. It has therefore been 
supposed that the set consisted of only eight pictures, 
and that two of the ten in Rubens' possession were 
duplicates. But this can hardly be correct. More 
likely a ninth design is preserved in a tapestry which is 
now owned by Mr. George Robert White in Boston and 
which, as it portrays Thetis Consulting the Oracle in 
Regard to the Young Achilles, may well be the first of 
the series. Consequently we may believe that there 
was originally a tenth picture which has since disap- 

Two sketches with the missing scenes 7 and 8 are in 
American collections — the one with Briseis owned by 
Mr. Jacob H. Schiff in New York, the one with Achilles 
Among the Daughters of Lycomedes in the Wilstach 
Collection in the Fairmount Park Museum at Phil- 
adelphia; but their size and their technical character- 
istics prove that they do not belong with Lord Bar- 
rymore's. Rooses notes that in 1643 designs for the 
Achilles sequence were in the possession of Daniel 
Fourment, Rubens' father-in-law. Beyond a doubt 
these were the originals. They were painted on wood, 
as are Lord Barrymore's sketches. But Mr. Schiff's 
Briseis sketch is on canvas (not transferred from wood) 
and is larger by a few centimetres than the correspond- 
ing sketches in England. It belongs, as does the sketch 
of the Death of Achilles in the Berlin Museum, to a 
second series of studies which, although hardly inferior 
in quality to the first, can only be a studio replica. On 



the other hand, the little picture of Achilles Among the 
Daughters of Lycomedes in the Philadelphia Museum 
is painted on wood and looks authentic but lacks 
the border that completes the sketches in England. 
And it is not very probable that sketches of this kind, 
without the border, are originals, for it appears that 
Rubens always designed the borders with the pictures. 
In fact, his patterns for tapestries excel in just this 
respect those of other painters, the borders for which 
were often separately treated or were even borrowed 
from other sets of tapestries. 

From Rubens' sketches his pupils — according to 
Rooses, Theodor van Tulden in particular — executed 
larger pictures, measuring about 107 by 108 centimetres, 
which were sent as patterns to the tapestry works and 
there, most probably, transferred to large cartoons.* 
As Rubens himself retouched these pictures, they are so 
admirably effective in execution that only close study 
reveals the handiwork of pupils. Until a few years ago 

* I may note in passing a few more studio replicas of sketches by Rubens that are 
owned in America. In the Museum of Fine Arts at Boston there is a study for the 
great altar-piece of 1628 in the Church of the Augustins at Antwerp, but it is infe- 
rior in quality to the autographic sketches at Frankfort and Berlin. That a little 
picture of St. Theresa Interceding with Christ, owned by Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan 
and now in the Metropolitan Museum at New York, was painted from the altar- 
piece and is not a study for it has already been pointed out by Rooses who saw the 
picture in the collection of the king of Belgium. Of small importance is also the 
little picture of the Repentant Magdalene now in the collection of Senator Wil- 
liam A. Clark in New York and formerly owned by an art dealer in Vienna. It is 
reproduced in Rosenberg's Klassiker der Kunst as an original, but it is not, as Ro- 
senberg thought, identical with the life-size painting of the same subject now in the 
Linde Collection and formerly in New York. I cannot agree with Rooses that this 
is the original and that a third and larger version in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum 
at Berlin (formerly in the royal palace) is an enlargement made by pupils. On the 
contrary, the Berlin example is, artistically, the best, and the pictures in the Linde 
and Clarke Collections are studio copies of portions of it. 



eight pictures of this series were in the possession of the 
Duke of Infantado at Madrid; then six of them passed 
into the collection of the Duchess of Pastrana, and the 
remaining two into the Salamanca Collection. The 
duchess gave two of her six to the museum at Pau; a 
third, representing Thetis Dipping Achilles Into the 
Styx, came through the Parisian art dealer Pacully 
into the possession of Dr. John E. Still well of New York; 
a fourth, showing Achilles Among the Daughters of 
Lycomedes recently appeared in the German art market. 

It is small wonder that the sketches for this set of 
tapestries should have been copied. Surely, never 
before or since has the story of Achilles been more ad- 
mirably illustrated. Rubens' enthusiasm for classic an- 
tiquity, his profound understanding of the spirit of the 
ancient writers, and his ability to shape a world of 
beauty analogous to theirs, enabled him to create by 
means of only a few figures dramatic pictures of Ho- 
meric simplicity and grandeur. The figure of Achilles 
with his lust for combat and victory and his propensity 
for heroic suffering must have taken a strong hold on 
the artist whose own life was a whirlwind. It expresses 
more of Rubens' own feeling than we find elsewhere. 
How clearly the inner conflict is portrayed on the 
countenance of Achilles where he rushes in threatening 
wrath upon Agamemnon who has robbed him of Briseis, 
or where Minerva masters him, grasping him by his 
blond and flowing hair! How deeply he is stirred by 
conflicting emotions where Briseis is given back to 
him ! The grief he had felt at the bier of his friend Pa- 
troclus still speaks from his features, but joy opens his 
arms to the maiden who modestly stands before him, 




unconscious of her radiant charms. And with the 
same deep sympathy is depicted the death of the hero; 
the tragedy is touchingly mirrored in his face as, at 
the very moment when he reaches the protection of 
the altar, fate overwhelms him. 

At about the time when Rubens produced these 
tapestry patterns he was at work on the subjects for 
a history of Henri IV which was to form a continuation 
of the cycle from the life of Marie de' Medici that is 
now in the Louvre. The execution of this grandiose 
scheme was interrupted by the arrest of Marie de' 
Medici and her flight to the Netherlands. The six 
great unfinished paintings were left on the artist's 
hands and were still in his house at the time of his 
death. Two of them, the Entry of Henri IV into 
Paris and the Battle of Vitry, which found their 
way into the Uffizi, give assurance that in all proba- 
bility this series of pictures would have surpassed the 
Medici series and would have been one of Rubens' 
most splendid achievements. He had worked enthu- 
siastically on the designs, saying that such purely 
historical scenes were much better fitted for pictorial 
representation than the allegorical subjects of the Medici 

As Rubens evidently meant to leave to his pupils 
the enlargement of these sketches also, he treated them 
with the same care and the same concentrated power 
as the designs for tapestries. Two studies for the 
Entry of Henri IV are in London — one of them in 
the Wallace Collection and the other, according to 
Rooses, in private hands; a larger one, probably the 
final version, came from Lord Darnley's possession into 

[ 191 ] 


the collection of Mrs. John W. Simpson of New York. 
A triumphal procession was a theme well adapted to 
the art of Rubens who always welcomed a chance 
to give a dramatic incident a splendid setting. The 
arrangement is that of a great historical play. The 
prominent figures are for the most part the spectators 
and the accompanying soldiers. A whole world seems 
to have bestirred itself to celebrate a great event with 
pomp and rejoicing, yet in reality there are only a few 
groups which, by their display of varied degrees of feel- 
ing, make the effect of throngs of people. Here are 
heralds on horseback with flags, warriors on foot with 
standards, musicians proudly advancing, and specta- 
tors full of enthusiasm and expectation, their joy con- 
trasting with the sorrow of the prisoners at the end of 
the procession. The whole array is plastically dis- 
posed in a concave semicircle densest in the middle 
where rises above the seething crowd, as though magi- 
cally evoked, the sharp silhouette of the figure of the 
monarch, crowned by a winged genius with a wreath 
of laurel. 

Nothing is more striking than the sight of an art as 
personal as that of Rubens stepping down from its 
lofty sphere into the actualities of portraiture. Often 
it struggles in vain with the insignificance of the sitter, 
far beneath the level of the painter's own nature, and 
surrounds it with unnaturally loud accessories as though 
to hide the naked truth. But if the sitter is in any 
degree in accord with the painter's aspiring aristo- 
cratic character, Rubens' dramatic power flames up 
and creates an orchestral harmony from which a 
glorified likeness emerges. Of this kind is the portrait 

[ 192] 



of the Earl of Arundel in Mrs. Gardner's collection at 
Boston. Even the animated pose, the forward inclina- 
tion of the body, the proud turn of the head, the light 
yet firm way in which the hand grasps the truncheon, 
express the interest excited in the artist. But the lively 
play of line gains an iridescent effect from the flashing 
splendour of the light which strikes sharp accents from 
the breastplate and the helmet, vivifies the eyes, and 
wraps the whole figure in a vibrating atmospheric en- 
velope. The only strong chord of colour is formed by the 
flowing red scarf as it crosses the bluish steel. 

There is a marked contrast in externals between this 
picture and the masterly portrait of Heliodoro de Bar- 
rera, the Jesuit confessor of Philip IV of Spain, owned 
by Mr. Frederick T. Fleitmann of New York, which is 
unobtrusive in arrangement, in technique, and in the 
browns and grays of the colouring. But the same 
dramatic intensity and the same controlling intelligence 
speak from the head of the priest as from the head of 
Arundel. It is marvellous how the painter has man- 
aged to give of his own flesh and blood to this harsh 
countenance with the low forehead, protruding ears, 
and piercing eyes, the hawk nose constricted at the 
nostrils, and the brutally sensual mouth. There must 
have been something that appealed to Rubens in the 
autocratic temper or the political sagacity of this Jesuit. 
How very differently Rembrandt conceived his monks, 
those figures of mild and brooding aspect who seek to 
save the world by their example ! Rubens portrays the 
fanatic to whom politics and religion are one and the 
same and whose weapons in the propagation of his 
creed are terror and guile. In works of this kind the 



attitude toward life and the world that sets these two 
great painters of the Low Countries so far apart is more 
clearly revealed than in the great ecclesiastical and 
allegorical pictures intended for public display. 

We come now to the works of Rubens' latter years. 
Two large pictures of this period — the Holy Fam- 
ily in the Metropolitan Museum and the Diana's 
Hunt from the Ashburton Collection, now owned by 
Mrs. Benjamin Thaw of New York — need only be 
named for they are well known and, as the one was 
partially painted by pupils and the other is not very 
well preserved, they are not altogether satisfying. Yet 
they are splendid in the singular mixed colours of the 
costumes, in that juxtaposition of orange, purple, and 
a soft red which is characteristic of Rubens' later works; 
and the nymphs in Diana's Hunt are very delightful, 
instinct with a childlike charm that we do not find in the 
more self-conscious sensuousness of the early pictures. 

It is, however, the sketches of this period — there 
are several in the Johnson and Widener Collections — 
that appeal to us most strongly, for they have not only 
great artistic power but also the personal quality that 
we find, with a difference, in all the late products of 
great masters. I mean that while other artists speak, 
toward the close of their career, with the voice of trib- 
ulation, Rubens, whose whole life was a victorious 
march, seems to triumph over all the weaknesses of 
the spirit. His last works are ethereal and imaginative, 
full of harmony and joy, radiant with light bright 
colours. Only now and then, when he is forced to treat 
a gloomy theme, do we also find a deepening of his 
feeling for tragedy. Thrillingly he portrays the Fall 

[ 194 ] 


of Icarus, the despairing cry of the young aeronaut and 
the alarmed backward glance of the father, while he 
gives suavity and beauty to the scene as a whole, bath- 
ing it in the golden light of the sun and spreading a soft 
enchanting landscape beneath the falling figure. In 
another sketch owned by Mr. Johnson, a touching scene 
probably taken from Ovid, a tame stag that has been 
wounded seeks refuge with his mistress who, with a 
heart-broken look, holds the head of the dying animal 
in her lap. The mournful aspect of the stag and the 
lamentations of the girl are rendered with a depth of 
feeling that we might look for in Rembrandt rather 
than Rubens. Probably both of these sketches (the 
second has appeared in the Paris picture market in a 
better preserved but feebler version) were produced 
about the year 1635 as parts of the series, commissioned 
by Philip IV, which with his pupils' aid Rubens painted 
for the hunting lodge of La Parada near Madrid. 

In the way of designs for great historical compositions 
we have furthermore the Rape of the Sabines in the 
Widener Collection and the Reconciliation of the 
Romans and Sabines in the Johnson Collection, com- 
panion pieces (notwithstanding the difference in shape) 
that were painted a little later than 1635, at the same 
time as the large picture of the Rape of the Sabines 
which is now in the National Gallery at London. The 
Reconciliation Rubens had treated once before, in 
1620 or thereabouts, in a picture, chiefly the work of his 
pupils, which now hangs in the Munich Pinakothek. 
And in the same list belong the two similar designs, 
large autographic sketches, that passed from the Ash- 
burton Collection into the possession of Alfred de 



Rothschild of Paris. Certain groups in one of these are 
exact duplicates of groups in Mr. Johnson's sketch. It is 
not impossible that the two designs in America are later 
recastings of the Paris picture that were prepared by 
Rubens for two larger compositions, ordered by the 
court of Spain and painted most probably by his pu- 
pils, which left his studio only a short time before he 
died and are now lost. At all events they are in the 
grand style of his later works. Mr. Widener's es- 
pecially, the larger and more colourful of the two, is a 
marvel of free and artistic composition and of joyous 
colour, with a perfect balance of movement and counter- 
movement in the surging groups that is well in keeping 
with the rhythmic harmony of the tones. The bril- 
liant whites of the garments of the rider of the white 
horse in the centre and of his captive are enframed by 
livelier hues — by the orange and blue of the mantle 
of the pleading old man and the red scarf of the warrior 
who lifts the maiden onto the horse. Lighter masses 
then lose themselves on either hand in the golden 
illumination of the landscape and the buildings that 
form the background, and in the corners, again, a few 
figures stand out in brighter colours, notably the wo- 
men at the left, frightened yet hesitating in their flight, 
whose draperies are shot with the singular bluish-red 
and orange-brown tints of Rubens' latest manner. 
All of this is rendered in airy tones with a royal freedom 
of hand and an amazing skill in the management of 
the masses, which are woven together in an unusual 
way, like a splendid ornamental pattern, yet clearly ex- 
press the spirit of the scene in its every detail. 

While this composition is developed in a vigorously 



plastic way from the foreground into a distance of 
considerable depth, the groups in Mr. Johnson's sketch 
are set against a dark background, more in the manner 
of a classic relief, and are so arranged that the action 
is for the most part from one side of the picture toward 
the other. Instead of being loosely grouped the masses 
are now held firmly together and are concentrated not 
in the centre of the composition but in two foci. The 
lines radiate in both directions from the heads of the 
two warriors who rise above the others; and the women 
in the centre, involved in these centrifugal streams, 
form the material as well as the spiritual link between 
the two parts of the design. The vigorous action 
achieved, in spite of this concentration, in the various 
figures, the complete emotional surrender with which 
the women perform their task of reconciliation, the 
reticence of the low-toned steel-gray colouring that 
gives the scene a pathetically impassioned character — 
all these qualities meet in a creation such as only the 
loftiest genius curbed by life-long experience could have 
brought forth. 

During the last five years of his life Rubens lived in 
retirement in the country, painting at the mediaeval 
manor of Steen, which with the wide lands belonging 
to it he had bought, those incomparable landscapes 
that were to have so high a value for posterity and 
especially for the art of England as represented by a 
Constable and a Turner. The prodigious career of the 
great painter came to an end like the ending of Faust. 
As is likely to be the case with aging artists, he re- 
turned to simple themes and sought for marvels in 
natural and obvious things, studying the hilly regions 

[ 197 ] 


around his estate and the peasants at their humble 
happy tasks, observing the all-pervasive influence of 
the atmosphere, and noting the intimate dependence 
of all living things upon the earth that bears them. 
He tried to find peace in an escape from the immediate, 
strongly sensuous visions of an imagination trained by 
familiarity with human forms. It was not granted to 
his restless temperament to know the fulness of such 
peace. A life that had been so incessantly impelled 
to action by such imperious passions could not suddenly 
come to rest in a mood of objective contemplation. 
The desire to produce, to create, still persists, express- 
ing itself less openly and in a different way. Domi- 
nated now by inorganic nature, he transmutes it into 
a personality overbrimming with power, as may be 
seen in the magnificent sketch, Landscape After Rain, 
owned by Mr. Johnson. Here the earth is stirred as 
though by a force from within itself, the steaming 
heights are lost in luminous wide-spreading clouds, 
the verdant fields teem and glow with the sap of life, 
and all the lines of the landscape rise and fall in a single 
gush of dramatic energy. In this heroic representation 
of nature, men and animals are of no more account 
than rocks and bushes. A human being can only let 
himself be borne along by the tumult of the elements, 
or sit by the wayside in thoughtful contemplation of 
the great spectacle. 





AN DYCK, whose gift was primarily for 

portraiture, occupied himself at first, as did 

v Rembrandt also, with studies of the strongly 
characterized heads of old men. He cared less, however, 
for that revelation of the soul which interested Rem- 
brandt than for the decorative sweep of the subject 
before him. His apostles are play-actors who, to pro- 
duce an effect at a distance, pose in daring attitudes with 
over-emphatic gestures while, to express the pathos of 
their words, their boldly flung draperies, their flowing 
locks and beards, and even their features assume wide 
simplified curves. 

It is known that at the age of sixteen van Dyck had 
already produced two series of Apostles, one of them 
with the aid of pupils. Parts of these series are now 
preserved at Dresden, in the Louvre, and in Lord 
Spencer's collection at Althorp House; two pictures 
belonging to them are in private collections in America 
— one in New York and the other, owned by Mr. 
F. G. Macomber, in Boston; and a study-head of an old 
man which was painted at the same time is in the John- 



son Collection in Philadelphia. There is still much of 
Rubens in the way these heads are painted, but the 
pupil betrays himself in the short nervous curves that 
break the contour of the forehead, the nose, and the 
hair as well as in the warm brown tone of the shadows 
and the scarlet reflections around the eyes. 

The youthful female type of this period surpasses 
in luxuriance of form even the types of Rubens. Yet 
these figures of van Dyck's have lost the robust and 
joyous sensuousness of their prototypes; they seem to 
faint with desire or to be consumed by a fanatical frenzy. 
Some of them are among the most expressive of van 
Dyck's creations outside the field of portraiture — for 
example, the girl in the Worship of the Serpent in 
the Prado Gallery, in whose face the last upflaring of 
wild passion is expressed in a masterly way.* Often, 
however, the artist falls into sentimentality; only the 
glow of his colour and the fine swing of his design recon- 
cile us to his over-accentuation of the note of pathos. 

Van Dyck used the same female model in several of 
his early compositions, as in the Repentant Magdalene 
of Sir Frederick Cook and the one in the Amsterdam 
gallery, in the Delilah at Vienna and the Drunken 
Silenus at Dresden. The Repentant Magdalene of 
the Johnson Collection, one of those works in which 
the young painter abandoned himself to his sense of the 
woes of the world, looks like a preparatory study for 

* In the place where it hangs, this, the most beautiful of van Dyck's early composi- 
tions, is still attributed to Rubens, although it has been restored to its painter by 
Bode and by other critics. The studies, preserved at Bremen and in the British 
Museum, for the Marriage of St Catherine, which is in the same gallery and is 
there attributed to Jordaens, prove that it is also one of van Dyck's early works. It 
was first recognized as such by Hulin and by Buschman (P. Buschman, Jr., Jacob 
Jordaens. Amsterdam, 1905, p. 133). 






the Amsterdam picture. This restless yielding to the 
mood of the moment, a youthful trait with emotional 
natures, reveals and, indeed, exaggerates in a mislead- 
ing degree all the artist's inborn qualities. Enthusiasm 
and sensuosness, melancholy and sensibility, are all im- 
plicit in the unquiet intricacy of the lines that enframe 
the figure. 

The recent discovery of a portrait of a man by van 
Dyck, dated in 1613 when he was only fourteen years 
of age, proves that he had already entered upon his 
true path when he was making his first studies of heads. 
The main period of his activity in portraiture, ante- 
cedent to his Italian journey, seems to have been from 
1618 to 1621. Then, and especially toward the end of 
the period, he painted a number of portraits that rank 
among his finest works. Most of them, long attributed 
to Rubens and other painters, were restored to van Dyck 
by Bode, to whom we are indebted for the first accurate 
account of the early phases of the artist's development. 

Among the works of this period that are now in 
America the most famous is, quite rightly, the portrait 
of Frans Snyders, formerly owned by the Earl of Car- 
lisle and now, together with its pendant, the portrait 
of Snyders' wife obtained from the Earl of Warwick, in 
the collection of Mr. Frick in New York. The fact 
that he had close personal relations with his sitter must 
have made a difference even to van Dyck. Snyders 
was a friend whom van Dyck, at his own instance, had 
painted several times, a friend of like nature with him- 
self, if we may assume the veracity of the portraits. 
And it is hard not to have faith in them, so amazingly 
real is the personality they evoke for us. We cannot 

[201 ] 


help believing in them even though we feel that van 
Dyck must have put into them a good deal of himself, 
for we should hardly divine the painter of brutal ani- 
mal combats and reeking butcher shops in this lean 
figure with its melancholy eyes and nervous fingers. 
A singular rhythm of line, which becomes almost extrav- 
agantly mobile in the salient curves of the curtain and 
the hands, is in keeping with the over-sensitive aspect 
of the figure, and the colouring, dominated by a deep 
blue and a grayish-purple, reflects the wistful expression 
of the head. 

In addition to this picture of Mr. Frick's, there are 
three portraits of Snyders by van Dyck — the oft- 
described double portrait at Cassel, the half-length in 
the Liechtenstein Collection at Vienna, and a portrait 
at Raby Castle in England which Lionel Cust mentions 
but I have not seen. I cannot agree with Cust's opinion 
that the Trick pictures were painted later than those 
at Cassel and Vienna and perhaps not until after van 
Dyck's sojourn in Italy. There is a closer relationship 
between the three portraits of Snyders than at first 
glance appears. He sat for but one of them; both 
the others are autographic copies in which only sub- 
ordinate parts are changed. The earliest is undoubt- 
edly Mr. Frick's, which is painted as though without 
break or pause, and has all the freshness of a first im- 
pression. The Liechtenstein picture cannot be a 
preliminary study for this one; the accessories — the pi- 
laster, the curtain, the costume — are more precisely 
rendered than they would be in a study. It is a copy, 
of the same date, of part of Mr. Frick's picture, a copy 
that has lost a little of the vitality of the original. 



A comparison of the picture at Cassel with the two in 
Mr. Frick's possession throws light upon van Dyck's 
methods of working. He has fused the two into one, 
reproducing exactly the upper parts of the bodies as 
well as the outline of the curtain and the landscape, 
but, as Snyder's wife was seated, changing the attitude 
of the husband. The chair upon which he leans in the 
Frick picture is omitted, while the one upon which he 
is now sitting is indicated by a knob introduced above 
his shoulder; and he has laid one hand on his breast 
and the other on the arm of his wife's chair. The posi- 
tion of the woman's fingers is unchanged, but now she 
lays her right hand upon her husband's left instead of 
upon the arm of her chair. These alterations show how 
easily van Dyck worked even when he had no model 
before him. Out of two single portraits he makes a 
group, retaining the most important parts but, without 
the least suggestion of unveracity, altering at his pleas- 
ure the position of the arms. The Frick picture tells 
why, in the group, the pillar at the back is preserved 
between the two figures, and why the man is posed in a 
way which, when closely examined, seems uncomfortable 
or even impossible, as his legs must come into collision 
with the woman's chair. The heads lack force when 
compared with the portraits in New York. Such a pic- 
ture as the Snyders of the Frick Collection marks the 
summit of van Dyck's achievement in the portrayal of 
the well-bred bourgeoisie of Holland. 

With the pictures of the Genoese period we find him 
in another world, the world where for the future he 
was to feel most at home. In this new environment his 
art grew more exclusive, reserving itself for dwellers 



in palaces and their friends. There has never been 
question of its adequacy within this narrow circle, but 
ordinary mortals still often bring against it the reproach 
of a decadent superficiality. The charge is unjust. 
The art of van Dyck may easily fail to appeal to those 
who know it only in the cold keeping of a museum, or 
may merely, like a street parade of royalties, evoke in 
romantic souls a vision of splendid palaces. But it is 
wholly convincing where it still serves to glorify an aris- 
tocracy with which it shares the task of cultivating 
in artistic ways the surface of existence. In magnifi- 
cent apartments these portraits gain reality. They 
are living decorations that fit into the general frame. 
They seem to be speaking with a charming smile of 
delightful unimportant things — of an attractive cos- 
tume, a graceful pose, a fine saddle-horse, a favourite 
dog. The content is naught in comparison to the form 
which, like all perfect things, has the easy effortless 
look of an instantaneous creation, but in reality is a 
slowly evolved result of tradition and hard work. The 
cares of life do not stir the surface of these pictures. 
Herein they differ from Rembrandt's which are instinct 
with trouble in every stroke and are therefore ill- 
adapted to regal surroundings. In such surroundings 
Rembrandt is like a philosopher gone astray in a palace 
and preaching wisdom to heedless ears in phrases hard to 
understand. He claims too much attention; he makes 
too great a demand upon the less well-endowed ob- 
server. Van Dyck asks only a passing glance from the 
court circle that moves around his feet, only a word of 
thanks for immortalizing on canvas the intoxicating 
atmosphere of high-bred society. No one else ever 




knew so well how to surround his figures with the inde- 
finable glamour — the subtile aroma compounded of 
nature and of art and emanating from a gesture, a word, 
or a glance — that constitutes the charm of the patri- 
cian world. 

It is not fortuitous that the pictures of van Dyck's 
Genoese period should have been particularly well 
liked by the nascent aristocracy of the New World. 
No less than five of the very finest of his portraits of 
women are in America. Two belong to Mr. Widener 
of Philadelphia who has fittingly housed them, with 
four other masterpieces from the same hand, in a room 
built for the purpose; a third, the portrait of the Mar- 
chesa Spinola, is owned by Mr. J. P. Morgan of New 
York, and the others by Mr. Frick of New York and 
Mr. Charles Taft of Cincinnati, a brother of the former 
President. Two of the most beautiful half-lengths 
of the same period, the Marchesa Durazzo from the 
Rudolph Kann Collection in Paris, and the Lucas van 
Uffelen formerly owned by the Duke of Sutherland, are 
in the Altman Collection at the Metropolitan Museum. 
And to these must be added several admirable portraits 
of Genoese aristocrats in the Frick and Untermyer 
Collections in New York. 

The biography of the artist tells us something about 
the original of one of these portraits. Lucas van 
Uffelen was one of van Dyck's Flemish acquaintances 
with whom he grew more intimate during his stay in 
Genoa, an Antwerp merchant who controlled part of 
the trade between Antwerp and Genoa, and a collector 
of works of art. That he also dealt in such works we 
learn from the account of the sale at auction, at Amster- 



dam in 1639, of a number of valuable paintings that he 
had imported from Italy. As great a person as Rem- 
brandt was interested in this auction and made a sketch 
of the most important picture — Raphael's portrait of 
Count Castiglione, now in the Louvre — which is pre- 
served in the Albertina at Vienna with the high price 
that was paid for the picture noted on the margin. 

Van Dyck's etching of Titian and his mistress testifies 
to his friendship for van Uffelen, bearing the dedica- 
tion, Al Signore Luca van Uffel in segno d'affectione et 
inclinatione amorevole. In the Brunswick Gallery there 
is another portrait of van Uffelen by van Dyck, his 
merchant fleet shown in the background as off the coast 
of Italy. The finer one in the Altman Collection re- 
veals the road that the artist had travelled since the 
time when he painted Mr. Frick's portrait of Snyders. 
The two sitters belonged to the same social stratum, 
the bourgeois middle class. But we fancy that we rec- 
ognize in van Uffelen the born aristocrat with whom 
the expression of the head and the attitude of the body 
correspond, whereas with Snyders the expression is too 
strongly marked to be duly subordinate to the self- 
conscious elegance of the pose. As we see most clearly 
in the portraits of women of his Genoese period, van 
Dyck now lays more stress than before upon the quality 
of distinction in the figure as a whole, upon that har- 
mony between all parts of the body which is always 
one of the factors in an air of high breeding. Of course 
this means a loss of expressiveness in the several parts. 
The general outline has grown simpler. The effect of 
momentary action, which in the portrait of Snyders is 
produced by the strong curves, now emanates directly 




from the subject himself, and the fact that he can retain 
the elegance of his bearing despite his sudden change 
of position as he turns his head toward a coming visitor 
enhances the impression of high breeding. Even more 
conspicuous is the difference in colour between the two 
pictures. During the years that separated them van 
Dyck had made acquaintance with the great Venetians, 
and to the aging Titian, whom he portrayed in the 
etching dedicated to van Uffelen, more than to any one 
else he owed the beautiful warm golden tone that now 
envelopes his sitter, the deep luscious black of the cos- 
tume, and the play of the peculiar mixed reddish- 
brown hues in the curtain and the table cover — hues 
which in his colour-loving youth he had not yet learned 
to value, but to which his emotional temperament now 
gives an intenser glow than they have on Titian's can- 

A love of elegance was developed in van Dyck by 
his intercourse with the Genoese aristocracy. He is 
said to have lost his heart to no less a personage than 
Paola Adorno, the incomparable wife of the Marchese 
Brignole-Sala, and we almost put faith in the tradition 
when we remember that he painted her more often 
and certainly not with less enthusiasm than any other 
great lady of Genoa. Mr. Frick and Mr. Widener own 
two of these portraits. In Mr. Widener's the marchesa, 
accompanied by her son as by a page, is seated like a 
queen between marble columns. We can divine the ar- 
tist's intent to create something unprecedented in the 
way of grandeur and beauty of form. He seems, indeed, 
to go almost too far. Deferring to the current concep- 
tion of beauty, he exaggerates the height of the figure 



which wins importance also from the trailing robe ; and 
he gives the lady a statuesque air, framing her cool 
transparent face between the vertical architectural lines 
and showing it in strict, almost schematized, profile. 
There is something so superhuman in her grandeur that 
we feel there can be no link between it and the boy 
with his precociously self-conscious expression. 

At this time, when van Dyck was wholly possessed 
by the aristocratic ideal, he had little feeling for the 
characteristics of childhood. When he painted the 
Genoese ladies with their children he used the doll-like 
little ones simply as foils to augment the expression of 
grandeur and of superior intelligence in their elders, 
somewhat as he put beside a great lady — for example, 
in the picture owned by Mr. Taft — a playful little 
dog whose graceful heedless gambols emphasize by 
contrast her dignified placidity. In the portrait of 
Paola Adorno he uses the boy with his splendid red and 
yellow velvet dress as a colour-contrast to the deep 
black of the satin gown. An art like this was too am- 
bitious and too self-satisfied to take an interest in child- 
hood. Later on, in his English period, when van Dyck 
stood in a calmer, more objective relation to his sitters, 
he painted children also with a charming naturalness, 
but even then only princely children whom a confident 
self-conscious air well befits. 

It was fortunate that he did not paint Elena Gri- 
maldi, the Marchesa Cattaneo, and her children on the 
same canvas, but chose for her attendant a servant of 
whom we are better content to have a superficial like- 
ness. The portraits of her son and her daughter which 
now hang on either side of her own in Mr. Widener's 





van Dyck room are satisfying companion pieces, their 
reticent amber-hued colouring leading up in an admi- 
rable way to the glowing marvel between them. This is 
rightly ranked as one of van Dyck's most incompara- 
ble creations. All nature and all art seem to serve this 
sovereign lady. Everything exists to enhance her charm. 
Although a full-length portrait of life size always 
dominates the observer, seldom has a painter known 
how to express so convincingly the physical and men- 
tal superiority of the personage he depicts. As though 
on Olympian heights the figure sweeps majestically 
by, casting an indifferent glance on those who stand 
below. The elevated position, the hiding of the feet 
by the long robe, the servile attitude and subordinate 
size of the negro, the lifted parasol that adds, as it 
were, to the height of the figure — everything helps to 
augment the grandeur of the splendid apparition. Her 
slenderness dares to measure itself with the aspiring 
architecture of the palace, and the definite lines of her 
dark dress, its aristocratic simplicity emphasized by 
the golden yellow of the servant's costume and the red 
of the parasol, contrast effectively with the unquiet 
structure of the landscape. The head, relieved against 
the background of deep and glowing colour, is such as 
we might expect; the flashing eyes, the thin nose and 
sensitive mouth reveal a person accustomed to dominate 
by her intelligence and to manifest with unconscious 
pride her sense of her patrician birth. Nor does the 
stage-setting seem too elaborate for the characterization 
of such a figure, for the artist understood that in the 
portrayal of an aristocrat the environment counts for 
quite as much as the individuality of the personage. 



The marchesa and her surroundings are in perfect accord. 
Even the flowers in the foreground and the arrange- 
ment of the garden have the air of works of art, and 
the veiled yet glowing tones of the sky create a magical 
atmosphere from which the figure emerges as from am- 
ber-coloured clouds. 

It is a remarkable fact that when van Dyck's art was 
full of a lofty energy, a burning enthusiasm, it was his 
task to paint high-born personages of the Latin race, 
and later, when it had grown colder and paler, to por- 
tray the impassive nobles of the English court. Or was 
he perhaps of so malleable a nature that he formed him- 
self on the aristocrats of alien lands? Was he one of 
those pliant, over-excitable beings who come to life 
only in the company of others and then show the splen- 
dour of their powers as circumstances may dictate? 
However this may be, with van Dyck, as with all great 
men, inner development and outer achievement seem 
to go hand in hand. When he returned from Italy to 
the Low Countries his characteristics changed with the 
change of climate. Instead of the warm enthusiasm 
of the south we have now an attitude of reserve, instead 
of a buoyant impetuosity a contemplative subjective 
mood, and canvases with a silvery-gray scheme of colour 
instead of a warm and golden tone. The artist remem- 
bers again the ideals of his youth which demanded 
above all else the significant characterization of a head. 
But as in the meantime he has lost his tendency to ex- 
aggerate and has gained the power to express a natural 
kind of elegance, he now gives his figures individuality 
combined with an air of aristocratic reserve. 

Part of the credit for this revival of his interest in 




the interpretation of character was undoubtedly due 
to his sitters. Never, not in Genoa nor later on in 
England, had he more important personages to portray 
than in the five years of this second Antwerp period, 
between 1627 and 1632, for the stage for the chief 
events, military and intellectual, in the drama of 
European life was then set in the Low Countries. 
Almost every great soldier, artist, and statesman who 
lived or briefly tarried in the cosmopolis called Ant- 
werp sat to the painter who had become world-famous 
during his residence in Italy. If it is hard for the ob- 
server to remember the features of Genoese and of 
English nobles, he does not so easily forget the striking 
personalities of this intermediate period — the por- 
traits of such artists as Ryckaert, Pepijn, and Snayers, 
of such scholars as van der Wouwer, Scribani, and 
Puteanus, and such military commanders as Spinola, 
Thomas de Carignan, Albert von Arenberg, and Hen- 
drick van der Bergh. 

The many religious pictures that van Dyck painted 
at this time for the churches of Flanders are another 
proof of his growth in intellectual seriousness, although 
they do not rank among his finest works. Ecstatic in 
expression and gray in tone, they reveal an almost 
tragic effort to succeed in a direction where he never 
developed into anything more than an imitator, with 
an exaggerating brush, of his great forerunner, Rubens. 

Two portraits now in America, the Count of Nas- 
sau in the collection of Mrs. Emery at Cincinnati 
and a portrait of a man owned by the late Mr. M. C. 
D. Borden of New York, mark the opposite extremes 
of van Dyck's achievement at this time. The Count 



of Nassau approximates closely in style to the Genoese 
portraits. It has the same bold energy and the same 
freedom in rendering the self-confident air of the 
original, and although cooler in its general tone it 
shows the same juxtaposition of a warm red and a 
steel-blue that appears in portraits of Genoese generals. 
But the drawing is now more definite and decided, 
and the more solidly constructed figure has a simpler 
aspect. The character of the original, more clearly 
revealed, makes a stronger appeal to the observer. 
Again the artist has selected a pose in which there are 
contrasts of direction, turning the body and the arms 
to one side and the head to another as, to give dra- 
matic point to the presentment, he did in many of the 
Genoese portraits — in Lucas van Uffelen's, for ex- 
ample, and the Marchesa Cattaneo's. But the turning 
of the figure is now managed in a less arbitrary fashion; 
it is developed, so to say, more from within, by the 
sitter's own volition, as a comparison with the military 
portraits at Dresden and Vienna may perhaps make 

On the other hand, the portrait owned by Mr. Bor- 
den is extremely simple, as simple in both pose and colour 
as it is possible to imagine a picture by van Dyck. 
The head, with the upper part of the body, is shown in 
full face, the eyes turned quietly upon the spectator; 
the dress is black, the background is gray, and the 
unobtrusive technique is altogether unlike the bold 
broad handling in works of the artist's early period. 
Nor could he have gone farther in eliminating acces- 
sories so as to concentrate attention upon the head. 
Yet even so he manages to suggest an aristocrat. Per- 




sonal importance and high breeding are both implied 
by the way in which the figure is placed within the 
frame, by the wide sweep of the cloak, the small size 
of the head as compared with the body, and the languid 
droop of the hand. The fact that van Dyck could 
now conceal the means by which he achieved such a 
result is proof of the progress he had made in his art. 

From the splendid portraits of the Genoese and the 
cooler ones of the later Antwerp period we come now 
to those where English courtiers wear an air of reserve 
that is evidently theirs by nature. From the attractive 
round-faced and dark-eyed types of Italy and the strong 
rugged lineaments of Dutchmen and Flemings we turn 
to the beauty of thin faces with long chins and blond 

The art of van Dyck drew new life from the new 
land, Apparently he was one of those unstable im- 
pressionable beings who, to keep their faculties alert, 
must seek every few years the stimulus of a novel en- 
vironment. In a sort of reaction from the gray mood 
of his Antwerp period the pictures of his first years in 
England are bold of aspect, fresh, and full of colour. 
A beautiful example of this manner, splendid by reason 
of the reds and yellows of the dress, is the Viscount 
Grandison owned by Mr. Harry Payne Whitney of 
New York. Abandoning the complicated theatrical 
poses that he gave his Genoese nobles, the artist, we 
feel, is now striving for a natural, seemingly unstudied 
simplicity in accord with the northern ideal of high 
breeding. In an animated attitude that expresses an 
amiable romantic temperament, the young man stands 
with one foot drawn back, doffing his feathered hat and 



turning his head slightly to one side as though wait- 
ing for a word from the observer. 

Less fascinating at first sight but better thought-out 
in respect to character is the portrait of James Stuart, 
Duke of Richmond and Lennox, in the Metropolitan 
Museum of Art at New York. Dating from the middle 
of van Dyck's English period, it is one of its very finest 
products. Van Dyck painted several portraits of this 
rather unimportant looking but attractive friend and 
courtier of Charles I, and, as the preparatory sketches 
show, he took particular pains with the one that now 
concerns us. Probably it was only for the head that the 
duke actually sat to him. A beautiful crayon drawing 
in the British Museum shows that the dress with the 
Order of the Garter was sketched from another model; 
and, indeed, we know that at this time van Dyck was 
often compelled to finish the costumes in his portraits 
as he might see fit. The study for the head, whether 
done at once on the large canvas or separately, he used 
a second time, with only a few changes, in the portrait 
of the duke in the guise of Paris that is now in the 
Louvre. Two separate studies of the dog, also in the 
British Museum, show how cleverly they were combined 
in the picture. In the figure of the duke the qualities 
of a courtier are admirably interpreted. He is not 
handsome nor does he look particularly intelligent, but 
the large dreamy eyes and the long fair curls that ac- 
cord so well with the blue of the Garter ribbon give 
him a romantic air, and the fawning devotion of the 
dog adds a touch of graciousness to the proud person- 
ality. Seldom, in line, in handling, or in sentiment, 
have a human being and an animal been so well as- 




sociated upon canvas. To the observer the bond be- 
tween them seems to be less the mutual affection of a 
man and a dog than the qualities that they have in com- 
mon as consummate representatives of their respective 

Comparing this picture with the Grandison portrait 
we learn how van Dyck expressed different tempera- 
ments by means of differences in pose and contour. 
In the Grandison portrait the attitude is upright and 
all the lines fall into wide open curves. In the portrait 
of the duke the broken curves returning upon them- 
selves give a suggestion of indolence; the legs are bent 
and seem to advance but uncertainly; everything be- 
trays a nonchalant ease in keeping with the tempera- 
ment of the aristocratic Englishman. 

In conclusion I may note a work of van Dyck's last 
years, the portrait of Catherine Howard, Lady 
d'Aubigny, owned by Mr. Widener. In a pale-red silk 
dress, with scarcely any adornment excepting pearls 
on the neck and shoulders and in the ears, the figure 
floats by with a tired indifferent smile. The counte- 
nance, almost blank in its expression of refinement, its 
air of unconcern, the pale diaphanous figure, the affected 
gesture of the extended arm, the fingers scarcely able 
to hold the flowers, all seem to say that a blight has 
fallen on the great master's art. Painting means noth- 
ing more to him now than a thrice-familiar kind of 
play. The technique is facile and unobtrusive and the 
colour-scheme as simple as possible — a black back- 
ground, a rose-coloured dress, and a uniformly pallid 
flesh-tone. The expression of high breeding comes 
naturally to the artist's brush, but his delight in the 



high-bred world has disappeared; now that he is master 
of its aspects it seems to him lifeless and dull. What a 
change since his days in Genoa! His enthusiasm for 
an unfamiliar world of splendid palaces and princes has 
turned into a cool contemplation of lofty personages 
whom he considers merely his equals. He had now 
been knighted, he had grown rich, he lived like a 
prince, and made his journeys with five servants in a 
coach-and-four. In Italy his fellow-artists had laughed 
when the title Cavalier e was given him. Now more than 
one of them sought the favour of Sir Anthony who had 
become a power in the realm of art. 

Pitiable indeed when we think of such a life seems 
the manner of its ending. Was it unnatural that van 
Dyck should aspire to the highest walks of life? Did 
not other great artists have similar desires, fixing their 
eyes on some princely circle and longing to share in its 
seductive pleasures, which meant more to the lowly 
born than to its own members? They were lucky if 
they were not fated to be stifled by such an atmosphere. 
Rembrandt could not accommodate himself to society; 
thrust back from its portals, he withdrew into him- 
self to accomplish greater things. Rubens, intelligent 
enough not to heed the invitations of princes to attach 
himself to their courts, remained within the narrow 
bounds of his own family circle. But the handsome 
young van Dyck felt at home in the company of the rich 
and followed them up to all the heights and into all 
the depths of pleasure. His unsatisfied soul found rest 
at a level where the struggle for existence was unknown. 
Or was the lassitude that overcame him in the prime 
of life due, perhaps, in part to physical causes? As a 




boy he overtaxed nature in working at his art, and at too 
early an age he won a great success in a foreign land. 
So the restless spirit that impelled him to an ever- 
increasing activity must all the sooner have exhausted 
the overstimulated body. Now it seemed as though 
the world were determined, in the hour of his physical 
weakness, to take revenge for his vaulting ambition 
upon the artist whom it had favoured so long. 

It is no wonder that this great painter under whose 
eye had passed the cultivated society of a whole con- 
tinent and a great epoch, the most distinguished and 
the most patrician figures of contemporary Europe, 
this painter who had not merely seen hundreds of ar- 
tists and poets, scholars and diplomats, generals and 
princes, but had learned to know them with the intimacy 
possible to a portrait painter penetrating the souls of 
his sitters — it is no wonder that, after the death of 
Rubens, van Dyck aspired to rule alone in the kingdom 
of art; nor is it strange that, loving to entertain his 
friends, he made exorbitant demands upon the purses 
of the nobles who had combined to spoil him. Which 
of the great painters of his time had had such experi- 
ences as he? Not Frans Hals or Rembrandt; they 
were not of the same social rank. Not Velasquez who 
confined himself to the court of Spain. Not Rubens 
who was too much occupied with his own daring ideas. 
Why, then, since he stood at the top in other respects, 
should not van Dyck also fill the place left vacant by 
the death of Rubens? It is singular, perhaps, that at 
so late a day the ambition of an artist who had painted 
portraits a thousand times but large compositions only 
once in a while and always under the influence of 

[ 217 ] 


Rubens, could deceive himself with regard to his own 
capabilities. Perhaps he felt that his powers were 
declining, and thought that a bold start in a new direc- 
tion might revive them. While he was young he may 
not have been oppressed by the existence of an artist 
so much greater than himself as Rubens, although, 
indeed, it may have been to escape from his master's 
dominance that he lived for the most part in foreign 
lands. But when Rubens died it was very evident 
that van Dyck had been waiting for his high place, 
for he stood ready to gather up at once all the threads 
that his master's hand let fall. Envious fate, however, 
was to grant him no such triumph. As soon as he 
returned to Antwerp to take over the deserted studio 
his difficulties began. He wanted to do everything 
in his own way and better than it had been done before. 
His negotiations with Philip IV of Spain, about com- 
pleting the works that Rubens had commenced, fell 
through because of his large demand that he should be 
allowed to start everything afresh. He wanted to 
finish the decorations of Whitehall for Charles I — 
another piece of work that Rubens had begun — but 
asked so enormous a price that again he got no farther. 
Then he turned toward Paris, proposing to paint for 
the court a series of pictures even more extensive than 
Rubens' Medici series, but the artists of France were 
given the preference. Passionately he sought in every 
quarter for commissions for such historical or mytho- 
logical works as had lain in Rubens' province but did not 
lie in his own. Everywhere he was given to understand 
that his master could not be replaced. 

To these professional disappointments there were 



added in his latter years private experiences that wholly 
undid him. Some of his friends, chief among them Sir 
Kenelm Digby, induced him to waste money and un- 
availing strength upon alchemistic experiments. In 
order to check his reckless ways of living King Charles 
married him to a lady of the court, but the union seems 
to have been unhappy. His former mistress, Marga- 
rethe Lemon, pursued him with her jealousy and once, 
it is said, aimed a knife-blow at his right hand, meaning 
to put an end to his painting. When he returned to 
London from the fruitless journeys prompted by his 
desire to fill Rubens' empty place his health was already 
broken. During his last illness a daughter was born 
to him, but in the will that he drew up shortly after- 
ward he provided less well for her than for an illegiti- 
mate child. He died at the age of forty-two, eighteen 
months after the death of Rubens. 





The chief authorities consulted in the preparation of 
this article were: 

Blok, P. J., Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Volk. 

Groningen, 1893 — 
Colenbrander, H. T., De Belgische Omwentling. The 

Hague, 1905. 

Haupt, Albrecht, Die alteste Baukunst der Germanen. 
Leipzig, 1909. 

Hofstede de Groot, C. P. Saenredam, Utrechtsche Ker- 
ken. The Hague, 1899. 

Dehio, V. G., and von Bezold, G., Die kirchliche Bau- 
kunst des Abendlandes. Stuttgart, 1892. 

de Boer, T„ Various articles on the Dutch Farmhouse. 

In especial I am indebted to the writings (among 
them the privately printed Architektonische Kunst- 
beschowing) of C. H. Peters, State Architect of the 
Netherlands, whose labours in the investigation of the 
mediaeval architecture of Holland have been of the 
first importance. 





Our present knowledge of the history of Early-Dutch 
painting is due in major part to Dr. M. J. Friedlander. 
It is an achievement of which the science of criticism 
may well be proud, for scarcely anything that related 
to the Dutch painters of the fifteenth century had been 
gleaned from the records and the indications of van 
Mander except in regard to three or four altar-pieces 
by Dirk Bouts and the two panels by Geertgen that 
are preserved in Vienna, whereas to-day we know al- 
most a dozen painters of the period and are able to 
follow in detail the development of the school through 
the second half of the fifteenth and into the sixteenth 
century. We have quite a different idea of such 
masters as Dirk Bouts and Geertgen now that about 
thirty pictures of the one and fifteen of the other are 
known to us. The credit for the resuscitation of one of 
the greatest of these early Dutchmen, the Master of the 
Virgo inter Virgines, is due entirely to the criticism 
that is based upon questions of style, for the literature 
of his time, in so far as it has come down to us, ap- 
parently makes no mention of him. In the following 
list of the works of the various painters of the period, 
where I have always indicated the fact when I have 
not seen the original of a picture, I have adopted for 
the most part the conclusions of Friedlander and 
Hulin. The scepticism in respect to these conclusions 
that has been expressed (in the works named below) 
by Voll and, with regard to certain particulars, by 
Heiland and by Balet, has in my opinion led to nothing. 

[224 ] 


The most important writings that I have consulted 

Friedlander, M. J., Meisterwerke der niederlandischen 
Malerei des XV. and XVI. Jahrhunderts auf der 
Ausstellung zu Brugge. Munich, 1903. 
Die Brugger Leiausstellung von 1902, in the Reper- 

torium for Kunstwissenschaft, 1903. 
Geertgen tot Sint Jans, in the Jahrbuch der Klg. 

Preuss. Kunstsammlungen, 1903. 
Der Meister der Virgo inter Virgines, ibid, 1910. 
Hulin, J., Exposition Bruges, 1902. Catalogue critique. 
Bode, W., Die Auferweckung des Lazarus von Albert van 
Ou water, in Jahrbuch der Kgl. Preuss. Kunst- 
sammlungen, 1890. 
Diilberg, F., Die Friihhollander im erzbischoflichen 
Museum in Utrecht. Haarlem, n.d. 
Die Friihhollander in Italien. Haarlem, n.d. 
Die Friihhollander in Frankreich. Haarlem, n.d. 
Voll, K., Die altniederlandische Malerei. Leipzig, 1906. 
Heiland, P., Dirk Bouts. Strassburg, n. d. (Dissertation.) 
Coffin, A., Thierry Bouts. Brussels, 1907. 
Balet, L., Der Friihhollander Geertgen tot Sint Jans. 

The Hague, 1910. 
Bodenhausen, E. von, Gerard David und seine Schule. 
Munich, 1905. 

For a list of the works of Haarlem painters of the fifteenth 
century see Appendix I. 


The best treatise on Quentin Metsys is Walter 
Cohen's Studien zu Quentin Metsys (Bonn, 1904), 
which I had not yet seen when my article was published 
in Les Anciens Arts de Flandres. Dr. Friedlander's 



essay upon the artist in Museum, 1905, is an ad- 
mirable piece of characterization. The relations be- 
tween Metsys and Diirer will be considered in detail 
by Friedlander and Jan Veth in their forthcoming book 
upon Diirer 's journey in the Netherlands. My attempt 
to attribute to Metsys the St. Jerome in the Palazzo 
Rosso at Genoa now seems to me a mistake, and I have 
therefore changed the latter part of my article. This 
picture, as also a similar one at Modena, is more in the 
manner of Jan van Hemessen. 

rembrandt's representations of susanna 

I am indebted to Dr. Wilhelm Bode for a knowledge 
of Lastman's picture of Susanna, formerly owned by 
M. Paul Delaroff of St. Petersburg. When it was ex- 
hibited in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum, Bode himself 
discussed the representations of Susanna in the Amt- 
lichen Berichten der Berliner Museum (1910). In 
Kurt Friese's excellent biography of Pieter Lastman 
he has spoken exhaustively of the relation of Rem- 
brandt to his master. The drawing attributed to 
Rembrandt which was recently acquired by the Dres- 
den Print Room and was published by Burckhardt 
in the Jahrbuch der kgl. Preuss. Kunstsammlungen, 
1912, seems to me dubious. 


For some corrections in this article I am indebted 
to Dr. G. Gliick of Vienna and Dr. R. Oldenbourg of 









1. The Sacrament. 1464-68. Louvain, Church of St. Peter; 

Berlin, Kaiser Friedrieh Museum; Munich, Old Pinakothek. 

2. The Fall of the Damned into Hell. 1468-70. Proba- 

bly a wing of the altar-piece with representations of Justice 
that was intended for Louvain. Paris, Louvre. 

3. Scenes from the Life of the Emperor Otto III. 1470-75. 

Two panels. Brussels, Museum. 

4. St. Hippolytus. About 1475. Bruges, Church of St. 


5. St. Erasmus. Louvain, Church of St. Peter. 

6. The Passion. Granada, Royal Chapel. 

7. The Passion. Munich, Old Pinakothek; Nuremberg, Ger- 

manic Museum; Worlitz, Gothic House. 

8. Domestic Altar of the Snoy Family, the so-called "Pearl 

of Brabant." Munich, Old Pinakothek. 

Other Religious Pictures 

9. The Fountain of Life. Lille, Museum. 

10. The Entombment. London, National Gallery (attributed 

to Rogier van der Weyden). 

11. The Lamentation at the Cross. Paris, Louvre. 



12. The Baptism of Christ. St. Petersburg, Leuchtenberg 


13. Moses at the Burning Bush. Philadelphia, Johnson Col- 

lection. From the Rodolphe Kann Collection, Paris. 

14. Christ in the House of Simon. Berlin, Kaiser Friedrich 

Museum (Thiem Collection). 

15. Christ on the Cross. Berlin, Kaiser Friedrich Museum 

(Thiem Collection). 

16. The Nativity. Fragments. Berlin, Kaiser Friedrich Mu- 

seum; Frankfort, Noll Collection. 

17. The Nativity. Fragment. Philadelphia, Johnson Collec- 



18. Virgin Enthroned with St. Peter and St. Paul. London, 

National Gallery. 

19. Madonna. Half-length. Berlin, Kaiser Friedrich Museum. 

20. Madonna. Half-length. Florence, Bargello. 

21. Madonna. Half-length. Replica of No. 20. Newport, 

R. I., Davis Collection. 

22. Madonna. Half-length. London, National Gallery. 

23. Madonna. Half-length. Antwerp, Museum. 

24. Madonna. Half-length. Antwerp, Mair van den Bergh 


25. Madonna. Half-length. Sigmaringen. 

26. Madonna. Half-length. Munich, Pourtales Collection. 

27. Madonna. Half-length. Prague, Rudolfmum. 

28. Madonna. Half-length. Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg. 


29. Portrait of a Man. 1462. London, National Gallery. 

30. Portrait of a Man. New York, Metropolitan Museum of 

Art (Altman Collection). From the Oppenheim Collection, 

Nos. 6, 25, and 26 I have not seen. The altar-piece at Granada 
(No. 6) is universally accepted, while the pictures at Sigmaringen 
(No. 25) and in the Pourtales Collection at Munich (No. 26) have 
been identified by Friedlander. 



The Raising of Lazarus. Berlin, Kaiser Friedrich Museum. 


1. Madonna and Child on a Grassy Bank. Hay ward Heath, 

Stephenson Clarke Collection. 

2. Replica of No. 1 with a different background. Leitmeritz, 


3. The Raising of Lazarus. Mexico. 

4. The Sibyl and the Emperor Augustus. Frankfort, 

Stadel Institute (attributed to Dirk Bouts). 

5. The Marriage of the Virgin. By the same hand as No. 4. 

Philadelphia, Johnson Collection. 
Nos. 2 and 3 are known to me only in photographs, and through 
Hofstede de Groot (No. 9) and Hugo von Tschudi (No. 3). 


1. Holy Fellowship (Church Interior). Amsterdam, Rijks 


2. The Nativity. Amsterdam, Rijks Museum. 

3. The Adoration of the Magi. Amsterdam, Rijks Museum. 

4. St. John the Baptist. Berlin, Kaiser Friedrich Museum. 

5. The Nativity. Berlin, von Kaufmann Collection. 

6. Madonna. Life-size, half-length. Berlin, von Holitscher 


7. Diptych. Brunswick, Gallery. 

8. Exterior of the Church of St. Bavon. Haarlem, Church 

of St. Bavon. 

9. Madonna. Small half-length. Milan, Ambrosiana. 

10. The Raising of Lazarus. Paris, Louvre. 

11. The Adoration of the Magi. Triptych. Prague, Rudolfi- 


12. Christ in the Sepulchre. Utrecht, Archiepiscopal Mu- 




13. Pieta. Vienna, Hof Museum. 

14. The Burning of the Bones of St. John the Baptist. 

Vienna, Hof Museum. 


15. The Legend of St. Domenick. London, Turner Collection. 

16. Madonna and Saints in a Forest. Triptych. London, 

National Gallery. 
This is by the Master of the Morrison Triptych, to whom 
Friedlander rightly assigns the following works as well: 

1. Triptych. After Memling. London, Morrison Collection. 

2. The Adoration of the Magi. Philadelphia, Johnson Col- 


3. Madonna and Child. Half-length. Nuremberg, Germanic 

Museum (attributed to Quentin Metsys). 


1. Portrait of the Burgomaster of Schiedam. Dated 1489. 

Philadelphia, Johnson Collection. 

2. St. Martin. Philadelphia, Johnson Collection. 

3. St. Anne with the Virgin and Child. Schloss Arensburg 

near Buckeburg. 

4. Holy Family. Cologne, Museum. 

5. Triptych. Spain. Published by Kronig in Les Arts. 

This last and the Morrison Triptych I know only in reproductions. 



1. The Martyrdom of St. Lucy. Amsterdam, Rijks Museum. 

2. The Crucifixion. Amsterdam, Rijks Museum. 

3. The Crucifixion. Utrecht, Archiepiscopal Museum. 

4. The Descent from the Cross. Vienna, Figdor Collection. 




Here I may refer the reader to Bodenhausen's book and to the 
supplement to the list of works there given in the Zeitschrift fur 
bildende Kunst, 1911. 


1. The Madonna with Saints. Triptych. Antwerp, Museum. 

2. The Assumption of the Virgin. Bonn, Provincial Museum. 

3. The Virgin and St. Michael. Berlin, Kaiser Friedrich 


The relationship between these three pictures was first remarked 
by Walter Cohen. The records of the city of Haarlem for the 
year 1500 mention a commission for an altar-piece with the 
Assumption of the Virgin in the centre which had been given to a 
"son of Jan Mostaert" by the Church of St. Bavon. This ref- 
erence may be thought to indicate the picture now in Bonn but, 
to judge by the date, the artist was more probably the father than 
the son of the well-known Jan Mostaert. 


1-7. The Seven Works of Mercy. Alkmaar, Great Church. 
8, 9. The Circumcision of Christ; Christ in the Temple. 
Two large panels. Amsterdam, Rijks Museum. 

10. The Presentation in the Temple. Amsterdam, Rijks 


11. Christ in Limbo. Prague, Nostitz Collection. 

12. The Martyrdom of a Saint. Philadelphia, Johnson Col- 


13. St. Anne with the Virgin and Child and Saints. New 

York, offered for sale. 


1. The Tree of Jesse. Rome, Stroganoff Collection. 

2. The Sibyl and the Emperor Augustus. Antwerp, Mu- 


I formerly attributed this picture, probably without 


due warrant, to the Master of the Virgo inter Virgines. 
(See the catalogue of the Antwerp Museum.) The attri- 
bution to Jan Mostaert is not wholly convincing. 
3. Triptych with a Pieta in the centre. A copy of the picture 
by Geertgen now in Vienna. Amsterdam, Rijks Museum. 


1. Calvary. Amsterdam, Rijks Museum. 

2. Calvary. Philadelphia, Johnson Collection. 

3. Calvary. Vienna, Liechtenstein Collection. 

4. Panel with the Crucifixion in the centre and scenes from the 

Passion at the sides. Utrecht, Archiepiscopal Museum. 




1. St. Peter. About 1603-4. Larchmont, New York, Col- 

lection of Eugene Baross. 

2. The Crucifixion. About 1610. Philadelphia, Collection 

of John G. Johnson. 

3. Paul and Barnabas at Lystra. Sketch. About 1612. 

Philadelphia, Collection of John G. Johnson. 

4. Portrait of a Man and His Wife. About 1614. Boston, 

Collection of Mrs. Robert D. Evans. 

5. Portrait of a Young Man. Study. About 1615. New 

York, Collection of J. Pierpont Morgan. 

6. The Delivery of the Keys to St. Peter. About 1615. 

New York, Collection of W. R. Bacon. 

7. Romulus and Remus. Sketch. About 1615. Philadel- 

phia, Collection of John G. Johnson. 

8. The Wolf and Fox Hunt. About 1616. New York, Metro- 

politan Museum of Art. 

9. The Steer Hunt. Sketch. Studio replica. About 1616. 

New York, Ehrich & Co. 

10. The Feast of the Gods. About 1615. Yonkers, New 

York, Collection of Mrs. Samuel Untermyer. 

11, 12. Heads of Two of the Three Kings. Autographic rep- 

licas of parts of the altar-piece at Mechlin. About 1618. 
New York, Collection of Charles H. Senff . 

13. The Adoration of the Kings. Sketch for the picture at 

Munich. About 1619. Montreal, Collection of Sir Wil- 
liam Van Home. 

14. The Emblem of Christ Appearing to the Emperor 

C onst antine . Sketch. About 1621-22. Philadelphia, 
Collection of John G. Johnson. 



15. Portrait of Ambrogio Spinola. About 1625. Chicago, 

Art Institute. From the Demidoff Collection. 

16. The same as No. 15, with alterations. About 1625. Chi- 

cago (?), in private ownership. 

17. Holy Family. About 1625. San Francisco, Collection of 

W. H. Crocker. From the Blenheim Collection. 

18. The same composition as No. 17. According to Max Rooses, 

the original. St. Louis, Collection of Edward A. Faust. 

19. St. Cecilia. About 1627. New York, Collection of Mrs. 

Henry O. Havemeyer. 

20. Madonna Adored by Saints. Sketch. Studio replica. 

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts. 

21. The Entry of Henri IV into Paris. Sketch. About 1629. 

New York, Collection of John W. Simpson. 

22. Portrait of Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel. About 

1630. Boston, Collection of Mrs. John L. Gardner. 

23. Portrait of Heliodoro de Barrera. About 1630. New 

York, Collection of Frederick T. Fleitmann. 

24. Abraham and Melchisedek. Study. From a series of de- 

signs for tapestries. Studio replica. About 1626-28. 
Philadelphia, Collection of John G. Johnson. 

25. The Triumph of the Sacrament over Folly. From the 

same series. Studio replica. Cleveland, Collection of 
J. H. Wade. 

I am indebted to Mr. A. F. Jaccacci for calling my at- 
tention to this study which I have not seen. 

26. The Family of Rubens. Sketch. About 1630. Philadel- 

phia, Collection of John G. Johnson. Formerly owned by 
Lord Darnley. 

27. Thetis Dipping the Young Achilles in the Styx. From 

a series of designs for tapestries. About 1630-35. New 
York, Collection of John E. Stillwell. 

28. Achilles Among the Daughters of Lycomedes. Study. 

From the same series. School replica. Philadelphia, Fair- 
mount Park Museum (Willstach Collection). 

29. Achilles and Briseis. Study. From the same series. 

Studio replica. New York, Collection of Jacob H. Schiff. 



30. DiEDALUs and Icarus. Sketch. About 1635. Philadel- 

phia, Collection of John G. Johnson. 

31. The Wounded Stag. Sketch. About 1635. Philadelphia, 

Collection of John G. Johnson. 

32. The Intercession of St. Theresa. Studio replica. About 

1633-35. New York, Collection of J. Pierpont Morgan. 

33. Portrait of Ferdinand, Cardinal-Infante of Spain. 

About 1635. New York, Collection of J. Pierpont Morgan. 

34. Portrait of a Lady in Black. About 1635. Baltimore, 

Collection of Henry B. Jacobs. 

35. Apollo and the Muses. About 1638. New York, Collec- 

tion of William A. Clark. 

36. The Rape of the Sabines. Sketch. About 1638. Phila- 

delphia, Collection of P.A.B. Widener. 

37. The Return of the Sabines. Sketch. About 1638. Phila- 

delphia, Collection of John G. Johnson. 

38. Two Cows. About 1635-40. Philadelphia, Collection of 

John G. Johnson. 

39. Landscape. About 1635-40. Philadelphia, Collection of 

John G. Johnson. 

40. Landscape with Figures of Philemon and Baucis. Study 

for the picture in the Hof Museum at Vienna. About 1638- 
40. Philadelphia, Collection of John G. Johnson. 

41. Holy Family. About 1635-40. New York, Metropolitan 

Museum of Art. 

42. The Stag Hunt. In collaboration with Snyders and Wildens. 

About 1638. New York, Collection of Mrs. Benjamin 





1. St. Bartholemew. About 1616. Replica of the pictures in 

Dresden and at Althorp House. Boston, Collection of 
F. G. Macomber. 

2. The Apostle Judas. About 1616. Norristown, Pennsyl- 

vania, Collection of Mr. Charles F. Williams. 

3. Old Man. Study head. About 1616. Philadelphia, Col- 

lection of John G. Johnson. 

4. The Repentant Magdalene. About 1616-18. Philadel- 

phia, Collection of John G. Johnson. 

5. Portrait of a Man. New York, Metropolitan Museum of 

Art. From Lord Methuen's collection. 

6. Portrait of a Woman. About 1618-20. New York, Metro- 

politan Museum of Art. 

7. Family Portrait : Man, Woman, and Child on a Veran- 

dah. About 1618-20. Baltimore, Collection of Henry 
B. Jacobs. 

8. Portrait of Nicholas Rockox. About 1620. Baltimore, 

Collection of Henry B. Jacobs. 

9. Portrait of Frans Snyders. About 1620. New York, 

Collection of Henry C. Frick. 

10. Portrait of the Wife of Frans Snyders. About 1620. 

New York, Collection of Henry C. Frick. 

11. Portrait of a Lady. 1622. Philadelphia, Collection of 

John G. Johnson. Attributed also to Cornells de Vos. 

[ 238 ] 


genoese period. 1621-26 

12. Portrait of Elena Grimaldi, Marches a Cattaneo. 

About 1623. Philadelphia, Collection of P. A. B. Widener. 
From the Palazzo Cattaneo. 

13. Portrait of Clelia Cattaneo, Daughter of Elena Grimaldi. 

] 623. Philadelphia, Collection of P. A. B. Widener. From 
the Palazzo Cattaneo. 

14. Portrait of Filippo Cattaneo, Son of Elena Grimaldi. 

1623. Philadelphia, Collection of P. A. B. Widener. From 
the Palazzo Cattaneo. 

15. Portrait of the Marchesa Giovanna Cattaneo, Daughter 

of Giovanni Battista Cattaneo. New York, Collection of 
Henry C. Frick. From the Palazzo Cattaneo. 

16. Portrait of Canevari. New York, Collection of Henry C. 

Frick. From the Palazzo Cattaneo. 

17. Portrait of an Old Lady. Yonkers, New York, Collection 

of Mrs. Samuel Untermyer. From the Palazzo Cattaneo. 

18. Portrait of Paola Adorno, Marchesa Brignole-Sala. 

Philadelphia, Collection of P . A. B. Widener. From the 
Earl of Warwick's Collection. 

19. The same as No. 18. New York, Collection of Henry C. Frick. 

From the Duke of Abercorn's collection. 

20. Portrait of the Marchese Gian Vincenzo Imperiale. 

1625. Philadelphia, Collection of P. A. B. Widener. For- 
merly owned by the Marchese Cesare Imperiale of Te- 

21. Portrait of a General in Armour. Philadelphia, Collec- 

tion of P. A. B. Widener. 

22. Portrait of the Marchesa Durazzo. New York, Metro- 

politan Museum of Art (Altman Collection). From the 
Rodolphe Kann Collection, Paris. 

23. Portrait of Lucas van Uffelen. New York, Metropolitan 

Museum of Art (Altman Collection). From the Duke of 
Sutherland's collection. 

24. Portrait of a Lady of Rank. Cincinnati, Collection of 

Charles P. Taft. 



25. Portrait of the Dogaressa Antonia Lercari (?). Proba- 

bly a studio replica of the portrait of the Marchesa Cat- 
taneo in the National Gallery at London. Montreal, 
Collection of James Ross. Formerly owned by the Mar- 
chese Imperiali-Coccapani of Modena. 

26. Holy Family: The Virgin with the Child, St. Joseph, 

and the Infant John the Baptist. New York, Collec- 
tion of Mrs. Henry E. Huntington. A school copy is in the 
Palazzo Doria at Genoa and was reproduced by M. Menotti 
in Archivio Storice dell'arte, 1897. 

27. Mater Dolorosa. Head in profile. Philadelphia, Collection 

of John G. Johnson. 

28. The Marriage of St. Catherine. Chicago, Collection of 

A. A. Sprague. 

29. The Assumption of the Virgin. Philadelphia, Collection 

of P. A. B. Widener. From the Hope Collection, Deep- 


30. Portrait of a Gentleman, presumably Le Roy. New York, 

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

31. Portrait of a Guitar-player. New York, Collection of 

Jacob H. Schiff. 

32. Portrait of a Man. Probably the engraver Schelte a Bols- 

wert. (Compare the engraving by Adriaen Lommelin 
after van Dyck.) New York (?), Recently in the collection 
of the late M. C. D. Borden. 

33. Portrait of Anna Maria de Schodt. Boston, Museum of 

Fine Arts. According to Bode, perhaps by Cornelis de 

34. Portrait of a Knight of the Golden Fleece. New York, 

New York Historical Society. 

35. Portrait of a Gentleman. New York, Collection of John 

W. Simpson. 

36. Portrait of a Lady. Cincinnati, Collection of Mrs. Thomas 

J. Emery. 

37. Portrait of Helene du Bois. Chicago, Art Institute. 



38. Portrait of a Lady. Grisaille. Boston, Collection of F. G. 


39. The Crucifixion. Sketch. Philadelphia, Collection of 

John G. Johnson. 


40. Portrait of John Villiers, Viscount Grandison. New 

York, Collection of Harry Payne Whitney. 

41. Portrait of Graf Johann von Nassau-Liegen. About 

1634. Cincinnati, Collection of Mrs. Thomas J. Emery. 
From the Ashburton collection. 

42. Portrait of James Stuart, Duke of Richmond and 

Lennox. New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art. From 
Lord Methuen's collection. 

43. Portrait of a Lady. Boston, Collection of Mrs. John L. 

Gardner. Formerly owned by the Duke of Ossuna of 

44. Portrait of Catherine Howard, Lady d'Aubigny. Phila- 

delphia, Collection of P. A. B. Widener. From the Earl of 
Clarendon's collection. 

45. Portrait of George Hay, Earl of Kinnoul. New York, 

Knoedler & Co. From the Earl of Clarendon's collection. 

46. Portrait of the Earl of Derby with His Wife and 

Daughter. New York, Knoedler & Co. From the Earl 
of Clarendon's collection. 

47. 48. Portraits of Two Lord Herberts. New York, Col- 

lection of William A. Clark. 
49. Portrait of the Countbss of Rivers and Her Sister, 
Elizabeth Thimbleby. Studio replica of the picture in 
Lord Spencer's collection, Althorp House. Baltimore, Col- 
lection of Henry B. Jacobs. 

[ 241 ] 



The references to publications in the following lists are chiefly 
to Wilhelm Bode, assisted by C. Hofstede de Groot, The Complete 
Work of Rembrandt, Paris, 1902 (which is cited simply as Bode), 
and to W. R. Valentiner, Rembrandt, in the series called Klassiker 
der Kunst, Stuttgart, 3d. edition, 1909 (which is cited as Klassiker 
der Kunst). In the case of recently discovered pictures, not men- 
tioned in these works, reference is made to other books or periodi- 
cals in which they are reproduced. The Hudson-Fulton Exhibition 
Catalogue is the catalogue of the loan collection of Dutch works of 
art exhibited in New York, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in 

1. Balaam. 1626. New York, Collection of Mrs. Ferdinand 

Hermann. Pub.: Klassiker der Kunst, 3; Bode in Art in 
America, 1913, 3. 

2. Portrait of the Artist. About 1628. New York, Collec- 

tion of J. Pierpont Morgan. Pub. : Hudson-Fulton Exhi- 
bition Catalogue, 74; Hofstede de Groot, Onze Kunst, 

3. Portrait of the Artist. 1629. Boston, Collection of Mrs. 

John L. Gardner. Pub.: Bode, 18; Klassiker der Kunst, 

4. The Father of Rembrandt. About 1629. Boston, Mu- 

seum of Fine Arts. Pub.: Bode, 543; Klassiker der Kunst, 

5. Study of a Turk. About 1629. Philadelphia, Collection 

of John G. Johnson. Pub. : Catalogue of the Johnson Col- 
lection, 473. 



6. Portrait of Rembrandt's Father. About 1630. Chicago, 

Collection of Mrs. L. Kimball. Pub.: Bode, Zeitschrift 
fur bildende Kunst, 1912, 210. The original of the replica 
published in Bode, 29, and in Klassiker der Kunst, 44. 

7, 8. Two Studies of Rembrandt's Father. About 1630. 

Philadelphia, Collection of John D. Mcllhenny. Not yet 

9. Portrait of the Artist. 1631. Toledo, Collection of 
Edward D. Libbey. Pub.: Klassiker der Kunst, 33; 
Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 75. 

10. Portrait of the Artist. 1631. Chicago, Collection of 

Frank G. Logan. Pub.: Bode, 548; Klassiker der Kunst, 
49; Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 76. 

11. Portrait of Nicholas Ruts. 1631. New York, Collec- 

tion of J. Pierpont Morgan. Pub. : Bode, 51 ; Klassiker der 
Kunst, 66; Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 77. 

12. Portrait of a Young Man. About 1631. New York, Col- 

lection of Frederick T. Fleitmann. Pub.: Bode, 559; 
Klassiker der Kunst, 67. 

13. Portrait of a Man. About 1632. New York, New York 

Historical Society. Pub. : Hofstede de Groot, Onze Kunst, 
1909; Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 84. 

14. Portrait of a Turk. 1632. New York, Collection of Wil- 

liam K. Vanderbilt. Pub. : Bode, 145 ; Klassiker der Kunst, 
145; Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 79. 

15. St. John the Baptist. 1632. New York, Collection of the 

late Charles Stewart Smith. Pub.: Bode, 134; Klassiker 
der Kunst, 113; Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 80. 

16. Portrait of a Man. 1632. New York, Collection of Mrs. 

Henry O. Havemeyer. Pub.: Bode, 73; Klassiker der 
Kunst, 78. 

17. Portrait of a Man of the van Beresteyn Family. 1632. 

New York, Collection of Mrs. Henry O. Havemeyer. Pub. : 
Bode, 82; Klassiker der Kunst, 74. 

18. Portrait of a Woman of the van Beresteyn Family. 1632. 

New York, Collection of Mrs. Henry O. Havemeyer. Pub. : 
Bode, 83; Klassiker der Kunst, 75. 



19. Portrait of a Man. 1632. New York, Collection of James 

W.Ellsworth. Pub.: Bode, 81; Klassiker der Kunst, 82; 
Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 78. 

20. Portrait of a Musician. 1633. New York, Collection of 

Senator William A. Clark. Pub. : Hof stede de Groot, Onze 
Kunst, 1912. 

21. Portrait of a Young Man. 1633. Cincinnati, Collection 

of Charles P. Taft. Pub. : Bode, 100; Klassiker der Kunst, 

22. Portrait of a Woman. 1633. New York, Metropolitan 

Museum of Art (Altman Collection). Pub.: Bode, 561; 
Klassiker der Kunst, 98. 

23. The Timorous Disciples in the Storm. 1633. Boston, 

Collection of Mrs. John L. Gardner. Pub.: Bode, 120; 
Klassiker der Kunst, 162. 

24. Portrait of Saskia. About 1633. Philadelphia, Collection 

of P. A. B. Widener. Pub.: Bode, 153; Klassiker der 
Kunst, 129; Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 81. 

25. Portrait of a Young Man. About 1633. New York, Col- 

lection of the late Mrs. Morris K. Jesup. Pub. : Bode, 90; 
Klassiker der Kunst, 90; Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Cata- 
logue, 82. 

26. Portrait of a Young Woman. About 1633. New York, 

Collection of the late Mrs. Morris K. Jesup. Pub. : Bode, 
91; Klassiker der Kunst, 91; Hudson-Fulton Exhibition 
Catalogue, 83. 

27. Portrait of a Man. 1634. Boston, Museum of Fine Arts. 

Pub.: Bode, 111; Klassiker der Kunst, 201. 

28. Portrait of a Woman. 1634. Boston, Museum of Fine 

Arts. Pub.: Bode, 112; Klassiker der Kunst, 201. 

29. The Finding of Moses. About 1635. Philadelphia, Col- 

lection of John G. Johnson. Pub.: Bode, 195; Klassiker 
der Kunst, 167; Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 86; 
Catalogue of the Johnson Collection, 474. 

30. Study of an old Man. 1635. New York, Collection of 

W. B. Leeds. Pub.: Bode, 104; Klassiker der Kunst, 



31. Portrait of a Rabbi. About 1635. Tuxedo Park, Collec- 

tion of Ambrose Monell. Pub.: Bode, 202; Klassiker der 
Kunst, 187. 

32. Portrait of an Elderly Woman. 1635. New York, 

Metropolitan Museum of Art (Altman Collection) . Pub.: 
Bode, 224; Klassiker der Kunst, 224. 

33. Portrait of Saskia. 1635. New York, Collection of S. R. 

Bertron. Pub.: Bode, 154; Klassiker der Kunst, 130. 

34. Portrait of Saskia. 1636. Pittsburg, Collection of Mrs. 

A. M. Byers. Pub.: Bode, 156; Klassiker der Kunst, 132. 

35. The Slaughtered Ox. 1637. Philadelphia, Collection of 

John G. Johnson. Pub.: Bode, 575; Klassiker der Kunst, 
230; Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 87; Catalogue 
of the Johnson Collection, 475. 

36. Study of a Man. About 1643-5. Philadelphia, Collection 

of John G. Johnson. Pub. : Catalogue of the Johnson Col- 
lection, 476. 

37. Portrait of an Elderly Man. 1638. New York, Collec- 

tion of Philip Lehman. Pub.: Bode, 273; Klassiker der 
Kunst, 252. 

38. Landscape with an Obelisk. About 1638. Boston, Col- 

lection of Mrs. John L. Gardner. Pub.: Bode, 230; Klas- 
siker der Kunst, 231. 

39. Portrait of Herman Doomer (known as "Rembrandt's 

Gilder ") . 1640. New York, Collection of Mrs. Henry O. 
Havemeyer. Pub.: Bode, 175; Klassiker der Kunst, 
Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 88. 

40. Portrait of an old Woman. 1640. New York, Collection 

of Mrs. Henry O. Havemeyer. Pub.: Bode, 278; Klas- 
siker der Kunst, 256; Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue 

41. Portrait of a Man. 1641. New York, Metropolitan 

Museum of Art (Altman Collection). Pub.: Bode, 277; 
Klassiker der Kunst, 264. 

42. The Toilet of Bathsheba. 1643. New York, Metropoli- 

tan Museum of Art (Altman Collection) . Pub. : Bode, 246 ; 
Klassiker der Kunst, 228. 

[245 ] 


43. Portrait of a Man. 1643. New York, Collection of Mrs. 

Henry 0. Havemeyer. Pub.: Bode, 286; Klassiker der 
Kunst, 270. 

44. Portrait of a Young Man. 1643. New York, Collection 

of Mrs. Henry O. Havemeyer. Pub. : W. Bode, 266; Klas- 
siker der Kunst, 271. 

45. Portrait of a Young Woman. 1643. New York, Collec- 

tion of Mrs. Henry O. Havemeyer. Pub.: Bode, 267; 
Klassiker der Kunst, 271. 

46. Portrait of a Jew. Study. About 1643-45. Philadel- 

phia, Collection of John G. Johnson. Pub.: Bode, 579; 
Klassiker der Kunst, 356; Catalogue of the Johnson Col- 
lection, 477. 

47. Portrait of a Man. 1644. New York, Metropolitan 

Museum of Art (Altman Collection). Pub.: Bode, 271; 
Klassiker der Kunst, 273. 

48. A Girl Behind a Door. 1645. Chicago, Art Institute. 

Pub.: Bode, 301; Klassiker der Kunst, 323; Hudson- 
Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 91. 

49. Portrait of the Artist. About 1645. New York, Collec- 

tion of H. L. Terell. Pub. : Bode, 260 ; Klassiker der Kunst, 
316; Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 90. 

50. Study of an old Man (King Saul). About 1645. Boston, 

Collection of Quincy A. Shaw. Pub. : Bode, 578; Klassiker 
der Kunst, 363. 

51. A Girl Showing a Medal. About 1645. Cincinnati, Col- 

lection of Mrs. Thomas J. Emery. Pub. : Bode, 303; Klas- 
siker der Kunst, 321. 

52. Study of an old Man. About 1645. Philadelphia, Collec- 

tion of P. A. B. Widener. Pub.: Hofstede de Groot, Onze 
Kunst, 1909. 

53. Christ on the Cross. Sketch. About 1646. Philadel- 

phia, Collection of John G. Johnson. Pub.: Bode, 518; 
Klassiker der Kunst, 246; Catalogue of the Johnson Col- 
lection, 478. Original of the old copy in the collection of 
Leon Bonnat. Pub.: Bode, 318; Klassiker der Kunst, 



54. Portrait of a Painter (Jan van Cappelle?). 1647. New 

York, Collection of Henry C. Frick. Pub.: Bode, 365; 
Klassiker der Kunst, 345. 

55. The Mill. About 1650. Philadelphia, Collection of P. A. 

B. Widener. Pub.: Bode, 345; Klassiker der Kunst, 313. 

56. The Philosopher. About 1650. Philadelphia, Collection 

of P. A. B. Widener. Pub.: Bode, 582; Klassiker der 
Kunst, 365; Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 96. 

57. Portrait of an old Man. 1650. New York, Collection of 

George J. Gould. Pub.: Bode, 376; Klassiker der Kunst, 
366; Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 95. 

58. Portrait of the Artist. 1650. Philadelphia, Collection 

of P. A. B. Widener. Pub.: Bode, 346; Klassiker der 
Kunst, 319; Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 94. 

59. Study of an old Man. About 1651. New York, Collec- 

tion of Michael Friedsam. Pub.: A. Dayot, Grands et 
Petits Maitres Hollandais (Paris, 1911), 135. 

60. Portrait of an old Woman. 1652. Cincinnati, Collec- 

tion of Charles P. Taft. Pub.: Bode, 584; Klassiker der 
Kunst, 349. 

61. Virgil (?) 1653. New York, Collection of Mrs. Henry E. 

Huntington. Pub.: Bode, 385; Klassiker der Kunst, 426; 
Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 97. 

62. Portrait of a Young Man. About 1654 (according to Bode, 

1665). New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art. Pub.: 
Bode, 495; Klassiker der Kunst, 507; Hudson-Fulton 
Exhibition Catalogue, 107. 

63. The Woman Taken in Adultery. About 1654. Min- 

neapolis, Collection of T. B. Walker. Pub.: Bode, 338; 
Klassiker der Kunst, 537; Hofstede de Groot, Onze Kunst, 

64. The Polish Rider. About 1655. New York, Collection of 

Henry C. Frick. Pub.: Bode, 466; Klassiker der Kunst, 

65. Portrait of Titus. 1655. New York, Metropolitan Mu- 

seum of Art (Altman Collection). Pub.: Bode, 442; Klas- 
siker der Kunst, 413. 



66. Portrait of a Young Artist. About 1655. New York, 
Collection of J. Pierpont Morgan. Pub. : Bode, 364; Klas- 
siker der Kunst, 346; Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Cata- 
logue, 93. 

07. Portrait of a Jew. About 1655. Philadelphia, Collection 
of John G. Johnson. According to Bredius and Hofstede de 
Groot, possibly by Karel Fabritius. Pub.: Bode, 473; 
Klassiker der Kunst, 431; Catalogue of the Johnson Col- 
lection, 479. 

68. Portrait of a Man. 1655. Montreal, Collection of James 

Ross. Pub. : Bode, 448 ; Klassiker der Kunst, 433 ; Hudson- 
Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 99. 

69. Portrait of an old Man. About 1655. Washington, Col- 

lection of W. A. Slater. Pub.: Bode, 470; Klassiker der 
Kunst, 431; Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 100. 

70. Christ. Bust. 1656. Philadelphia, Collection of John G. 

Johnson. Pub.: Bode, 412; Klassiker der Kunst, 390; 
Catalogue of the Johnson Collection, 480. 

71. The Sibyl. About 1656. Newport, R. I., Collection of 

Theodore M. Davis. Pub.: Bode, 528; Klassiker der 
Kunst, 386; Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 101. 

72. St. Paul. About 1656. Philadelphia, Collection of P. A. B. 

Widener. Pub.: Bode, 382; Klassiker der Kunst, 384. 

73. Portrait of Hendrickje Stoffels. About 1656. New 

York, Metropolitan Museum of Art (Altman Collection). 
Pub. : Hofstede de Groot, Onze Kunst, 1909. 

74. Study of an old Woman. 1657. Philadelphia, Collection 

of P. A. B. Widener. Pub.: Bode, 472; Klassiker der 
Kunst, 440. 

75. Portrait of a Jew. About 1657. New York, Collection of 

Otto H. Kahn. Pub. : Bode, 407; Klassiker der Kunst, 388. 

76. Jupiter and Mercury. 1658. New York, Collection of 

Otto H. Kahn. Pub.: Bode, 407; Klassiker der Kunst, 

77. Portrait of the Artist. 1658. New York, Collection of 

Henry C. Frick. Pub.: Bode, 428; Klassiker der Kunst, 
400; Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 102. 



78. Woman Trimming Her Nails. 1658. New York, Metro- 

politan Museum of Art (Altman Collection). Pub.: Bode, 
477; Klassiker der Kunst, 444. 

79. Portrait of Titus (so-called Portrait of the Auctioneer, 

Haring). 1658. New York, Metropolitan Museum of 
Art (Altman Collection). Pub.: Bode, 458; Klassiker der 
Kunst, 417. 

80. Portrait of a Man. 1659. Rochester, Collection of 

George Eastman. Pub.: Bode, 461; Klassiker der Kunst, 

81. Portrait of a Young Man. About 1660. Rochester, Col- 

lection of George Eastman. Pub.: Bode, 455; Klassiker 
der Kunst, 491. 

82. Hendrickje Stoffels. 1660. New York, Collection of 

Mrs. Henry E. Huntington. Pub.: Bode, 438; Klassiker 
der Kunst, 411. 

83. Portrait of the Artist. About 1660. New York, Metro- 

politan Museum of Art (Altman Collection). Pub.: Bode, 
429 ; Klassiker der Kunst, 411. 

84. Portrait of a Jew. 1661. Montreal, Collection of Sir 

William Van Home. Pub.: Bode, 509; Klassiker der 
Kunst, 498. 

85. Head of an old Man. Study. About 1661. Philadelphia, 

Collection of P. A. B. Widener. Pub.: Bode, 592; Klas- 
siker der Kunst, 455. 

86. Pilgrim at Prayer. 1661. Toledo, Collection of John 

N. Willis. Pub.: Bode, 485; Klassiker der Kunst, 

87. The Circumcision. 1661. Philadelphia, Collection of P. 

A. B. Widener. Pub.: Bode, 518; Klassiker der Kunst, 

88. Portrait of a Man. About 1662. Philadelphia, Collection 

of P. A. B. Widener. Pub.: Bode, 487; Klassiker der 
Kunst, 500. 

89. Portrait of an old Man (Dirk van Os). About 1662. 

Boston, Collection of Frederick O. Sears. Pub. : Bode, 494 ; 
Klassiker der Kunst, 501. 



00. The Accountant. About 1663. New York, Collection of 
Charles M. Schwab. Pub.: Bode, 526; Klassiker der 
Kunst, 502; Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 104. 

91. Portrait of an Elderly Man. 1665. New York, Metro- 

politan Museum of Art. Pub.: Bode, 496; Klassiker 
der Kunst, 506; Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 

92. Pilate Washing His Hands. About 1665. New York, 

Metropolitan Museum of Art (Altman Collection). Pub.: 
Bode, 532; Klassiker der Kunst, 468. 

93. Portrait of Magdalena van Loo, Wife of Titus. About 

1666. Montreal, Collection of R. B. Angus. Pub. : Bode, 
537; Klassiker der Kunst, 486. 

94. Portrait of Titus (?). About 1668. New York, Metro- 

politan Museum of Art (Altman Collection). Pub.: Bode, 
535; Klassiker der Kunst, 482; Hudson-Fulton Exhibition 
Catalogue, 107A. 

95. Portrait of Magdalena van Loo, Wife of Titus (?) . About 

1668. New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art (Altman 
Collection). Pub.: Bode, 536; Klassiker der Kunst, 483; 
Hudson-Fulton Exhibition Catalogue, 107B. 

Opinions differ in regard to the authenticity of the following 
paintings : 

1. An Artist in His Studio. (Portrait of Rembrandt him- 

self?) Possibly an early work of about 1626. New York, 
Collection of William M. Chase. Not yet published. 

2. The Blind Tobias and His Wife. Possibly an early work 

of 1626. Engraved by W. de Leeuw in the time of Rem- 
brandt. Accepted by Bredius. Philadelphia, Collection 
of John G. Johnson. Pub. : Catalogue of the Johnson Col- 
lection, 482. 

3. The Resurrection of Lazarus. About 1632. New York, 

Collection of W. Gates. Pub.: Bode, 45; Klassiker der 
Kunst, 12. A better example is in the possession of Charles 
Sedelmeyer of Paris. 

[ 250 ) 


4. St. Francis at Prayer. Philadelphia, Collection of John 

G. Johnson. From the Due d'Orleans Collection. Pub.: 
Smith, Catalogue Raisonne, 133. An almost identical 
picture, dated 1637, is in the possession of Mr. Otto Beit 
of London. Pub. : Bode, 218. 

5. Landscape. 1639. Montreal, Collection of Sir William 

Van Home. Pub. : Hofstede de Groot, Onze Kunst, 1909. 

A statistical comparison of the sales of paintings by Rembrandt 
in different countries within the last few years shows the propor- 
tion to be as follows : America has added to its possessions thirty- 
four paintings — thirty-two by acquisition, two by discovery — 
and has lost two; Germany has added eleven — ten by acquisition, 
one by discovery — and has lost four; England has added eight 
— two by acquisition, six by discovery — and has lost twenty,. 
France has added three — two by acquisition, one by discovery — 
and has lost eighteen. This shows that America is far ahead in the 
number of its acquisitions as compared with other countries, and 
that Germany comes next while England and France have suffered 
most from the loss of masterpieces by Rembrandt. 



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