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been simply preservation and publicity, without regard to any special system of classification or instruction. It was sufficient if artists could study pictures, and the public examine them, with little or no aids from descriptive catalogues or historical arrangement. Hence the great galleries of Europe, until recently, have presented a confusion of styles, schools, and eras, with an intermingling of motives not only perplexing to the spectator, but often misleading his judgment and perverting his tastes.
A gallery of art is the summary of the appeal of the imaginative, inventive, and imitative æsthetic faculties of one generation or nation against another. It is furthermore a record of its mental and moral life, its pictorial or plastic literature, an incarnation of its loves and hopes, or that subtle transmutation of ideas and feelings into form and color, by the sight of which we inwardly mark, learn, and digest the spirit of the age and artist. Hence the importance of tracing the progress of art through its various stages of growth, idea, and execution, by a plan which shall clearly group it to the spectator according to its national or local rise and decay. The merely æsthetic enjoyment of art in its sensuous aspects of color and design is the most fascinating, but at the same time the most superficial. Every gallery should, however, be so arranged as to heighten it to the greatest degree, because it is so pleasing and popular.
Indeed, we may term it the primary legitimate office of art, just as gratification precedes instruction in our first glimpses of the natural world. Fortunately, this enjoyment in an eminent degree coincides with an orderly system in the arrangement of pictures, the grouping them according to their leading motives or ideas in chronological sequence, with reference to their schools or specific styles of execution. By this plan the æsthetic effect of the pictures as a whole is enhanced, because it harmonizes in broad masses, leading motives, and systems of coloring and design, step by step, as they advanced or receded in their particular aims; each school being kept distinctive, by way of contrast with its predecessor or successor, and the varied graduations or changes by which one grew out of another made evident. This graduated arrangement
of artistic treasure according to its technical, intellectual, and moral value gives at one glance a comprehensive understanding of the whole. Taste is stimulated in an onward direction from lower to higher elements of art, under each of the above conditions, rising from master to master, until it pauses upon its highest attainments. Masterpieces, like emphatic points in an oration, must be so placed that the stimulated senses shall find, in finally resting upon them, climax and repose. We do not here allude to that mystical rapport between the artist and exceptionable minds, by which the former stands revealed to the latter as an ever-living soul, the inmost meaning of art communicated to a spiritual appreciation, but to that practical comprehension of art which is within the reach of every unprejudiced inquiring spectator.
What materials have we for a beginning of an institution on the plan suggested? The idea fits modern work quite as well as ancient; but the indispensable verdict of time as to its relative worth is necessary before it can be applied to the art of today. Much that fashion lauds for the moment soon gives way to new vagaries of conventional or crude taste, while not a little that it capriciously overlooks eventually secures a permanent place in the record of fame. Without, therefore, at all depreciating the present rich promise of American landscape art, or collections like the Dusseldorf and Athenæum, which have been useful as incentives to the artistic training of our people, we shall confine our inquiries to those painters of established reputation commonly called the "Old Masters."
The rawness of taste, lack of critical knowledge, and the speculative propensities of American travellers in Europe, have flooded our country with the rubbish of foreign picturedealers to such an extent as to create a very natural prejudice against all old paintings. This can be corrected only by contrasting the genuine and good with the false and vicious. There are in America, hidden away in various places, more good pictures of the best periods of painting than the public are aware of. We have been surprised at seeing uncared for or unappreciated works of this description hanging on private walls, their history and name forgotten, because their rich, mellow tones, obscured by dirt or varnish, found little favor
in eyes accustomed to the cruder tints of modern work. Some, however, are known and cherished as family jewels. One in particular, which came unexpectedly on our sight,a lovely Francia, in the fulness of its Christian purity and repose, still nestles in our memory like a messenger dove from a promised land. Others there are, forced into mixed and dubious company by the dictum of a fashion that makes the rich man, in the untutored exercise of an unformed taste, the sport and prey of tricky dealers abroad. Were a gallery once established, acquisitions would flow to it from all such sources; some from an amiable ostentation of giving, others because they were not valued at home, and many more, we hope, out of the generous spirit which a true love of art inspires, holding its possessions to be in trust for the benefit and joy of all.
But we are not entirely dependent upon a resource so precarious. At the present time there are in America two collections made with special reference to our needs and uses. One is the Bryan Gallery of the Cooper Institute, New York, numbering more than two hundred pictures, chiefly of the Dutch, German, and French schools of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, but including a few of the early Italian. Mr. Bryan loved pictures, and so he collected them. He had no definite aim beyond securing good ones, such as his opportunities in Europe offered to his sympathetic taste and practised eye. His gallery, therefore, was based, as most private galleries are, upon his individual preferences and chances. Among many pictures of no general interest or value, and which it might be well for its reputation as a whole to discard, there are several of rare merit. From the first, Mr. Bryan's public spirit has been most praiseworthy. At no light charge to himself, he threw open his pictures to the public, and at one time tendered them as a free gift to Philadelphia, his native city, only to have his offer refused, because the authorities would not incur the expense of providing a place for their reception. Many artists and critics have discouraged and ridiculed his enthusiasm, or chilled it by supercilious indifference, thus to some extent and in certain circles creating a prejudice against his efforts; so that his praiseworthy endeavor to instruct and interest the people at large in art, had
it depended upon those who profess to be its critics and friends, would have wholly failed. But art is a sympathetic power. Our people are too much accustomed to form opinions for themselves, and are too intelligent and well-read, as a whole, to be long misled in any direction. The Bryan Gallery has finally, on its own merits, unaided by any prestige of European approval, established its reputation, and in a quiet, unostentatious way is enlarging the views of thousands of impressible minds, who, without such a collection to appeal to, might narrow their ideas and tastes to the dominant American school.
The Catalogue calls it a collection of "Christian Art." This is a misnomer, comparatively few of the pictures having their motives in Christianity. The greater part are portraits, always interesting in a psychological as well as technical sense, genre subjects, scenes from Flemish life, and the quasi landscape in vogue a century or two back. We have space to mention only one or two of those that deserve. particular notice. The Mantegna, catalogued as an Andrea, but which seems to us his son Francesco's work, is a beautiful specimen of the Paduan pseudo-classical school in manner rather than motive. It is quite German in its elaboration of details, fine, firm handling and finish, and quaintness of expression. But the gem of the Gallery, one to us of priceless value, is the "Marriage of St. Catherine," by Emmelink. This brilliant and delicate work displays the best features of the German school of the Van Eycks. Its elaborate finish, richness of detail, and precision of outline, are softened by an exquisite idealism, homely in one sense, as compared with the loftier Italian type of religious art, yet very captivating from its unobtrusive sincerity and holy feeling. It speaks more from the heart than the imagination. In its present exposed situation it cannot fail to be injured, if not finally destroyed. Why not protect its delicate surface with glass? David Teniers the younger is admirably represented. Nowhere is there to be seen a finer example of his naturalistic art and imaginative diabolism than in No. 141, "The Incantation." The qualities which have established his popular reputation are also to be noted in several other pictures, all in perfect -5TH S. VOL. X. NO. II.
condition. They well deserve, as do more of this collection, a particular description, but we must pass on to the other gallery we have in view, calling attention, however, before we leave the Bryan pictures, to the low-toned, silvery-skyed, clear, Castilian landscape of Velasquez, with its clever hunting group, No. 168, as a rare specimen of this master.
The "Descriptive Catalogue" of Mr. Jarves's pictures represents a collection made in accordance with a definite idea and for a special object. In this respect it is perhaps unique, although a similar system of chronological sequence according to schools is now introduced into several European galleries. Mr. Jarves, however, started with the idea of tracing the development of Italian painting, from its revival in the thirteenth century to its final decadence in the seventeenth, with particular reference to the religious motives which inspired it. By so doing he judged that not merely an historical and technical exhibition could be formed, most useful to the amateur and student, but the psychological and aesthetical aspects of art could be seen in the precise order and quality of their development. Such a plan combines the museum with the gallery, and implies the acquisition of many examples for other reasons than mere mechanical excellence. So far as is practicable, every artist who contributed to the progress of painting, rising above the average of his contemporaries, or who was remarkable for specific traits, should be found in such a collection. Above all should we find those who may be termed representative artists, on account of their great genius and the new developments it led to in painting.
It would require an article by itself properly to criticise the paintings of this collection. We must be content with pointing out some of their general characteristics, with a suggestion as to a feasible means by which the project of their proprietor might be matured into a public gallery that would prove a unique and distinguishing feature of any city establishing it.
The earliest works date back to A. D. 1000. They are of Byzantine and Italian origin, archaic and rare, but showing in the first-named class traces of olden Grecian grace and dignity struggling for life amid the mysticisms of the new