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from the loss of those actual comforts which re- signal revival of which Munich, Berlin, and fined taste or delicate organizatious render al- other chief cities give signs in our times. most indispensable, and which it is supposed This giant, the Michael Angelo of Germany, (often most erroneously) that a small income gathered around him a compact band of could not sufficiently procure. They would wil, scholars, ardent as himself for the revival lingly give up carriages, expensive dresses, and laborious pleasure, but they must have tolerably ceived timely encouragement from King
of fresco-painting. The new school reample and elegantly-furnished rooms, leisure for reading, occasional “outings,” and intercourse Ludwig in a commission to decorate the with chosen friends. They don't wish to be idle, then recently erected Glyptothek in Mubut they are not prepared to become drudges
nich. The cartoons of this arduous work either mere nursemaids or mere housewives. To were prepared during the winter months in these must be added, as belonging in justice to Dusseldorf, and then, when summer came, the same category, those to whom men, who masters and pupils went to the Bavarian might otherwise love and choose them, abstain capital to carry out the frescoes. In like from offering marriage, under the impressionnanner at Coblenz, Bonn, and the Castle that the sentiments we have described are the of Heltorf, “ monumental art” got a fair sentiments they entertain. Very often this im- start; thus the Italian method of frescopression is wholly erroneous ; very often these painting learnt by Cornelius, Schadow, Veit, women would thankfully surrender all those ex- and Overbeck in Rome, having been transternal advantages, to which they are supposed planted to Dusseldorf, took root throughout to be so wedded, for the sake of sharing a com- the land of Germany, where it abides and paratively humble and unluxurious home with men whom they regard and esteem. But their
flourishes even to this day. own language, their own conduct, or the habit
Yet it was not without difficulty that the ual tone of the society to which they belong, has young school of Dusseldorf struggled inwarranted and created the impression, and to life and paid its way. The fame of therefore the fault as well as the penalty is theirs. the Academy became so great that pupils Other essays on “Time,” “Good Peo- with it perplexity. Genius became in ex
flocked in from all parts; but success brought ple,” “ British and Foreign Characteris
cess of the demand; the market was overtics,” and “the Doom of the Negro Race,” stocked. The secret had been discovered we can only enumerate ; but, in concluding, whereby high art could be manufactured we would call special attention to two pa- wholesale, and yet for the commodity when pers which we have not space to notice at length. We refer to that entitled, French Fortunately King Ludwig was ready for the
produced no purchasers were forthcoming, Fiction: the Lowest Deep,” in which the author reprobates very severely, but very into existence the famed “ Kunstverein fur
rescue. Moreover, the emergency called properly, the moral degradation of some die Rheinlande und Westphalen,” an Artrecent French novelists; and to an able ex- Union localized within the Academy, with posé of the false morality of our own lady the express purpose of subsidizing works writers of fiction.
which proved in advance of public taste. It is interesting to know that this Kunstverein on its twenty-first anniversary was able
to announce that, in addition to nine hunFrom The Saturday Review.
dred great and small pictures distributed by THE DUSSELDORF SCHOOL OF PAINTING.
lottery, it had been the means of securing
to churches both Protestant and Romish, The two papers we have published on to museums and public buildings, twentyrecent art in Munich and Berlin may find seven altar-pieces and eleven large oil pica suitable sequel in some account of the pa- tures. Among the works thus fostered are rent school of Dusseldorf. There is scarcely the famous frescoes from the history of a painter of note, hardly a phase — whether Charlemagne which we recently had the Christian and spiritual, or realistic and nat- pleasure of studying in Aix-la-Chapelle; uralistic — in the history of German art also may be mentioned a master-piece by during the last half century, which has not Overbeck now in Cologue Cathedral; likebeen more or less intimately connected with wise Professor Keller's engraving - the this small town upon the Rhine. The great largest in line ever executed — of Raffaelle's Cornelius – termed by some the Goethe “ Disputa.” Dusseldorf, indeed, as of the art of painting - was born at Dussel- readers are probably aware, has long been dorf; and to Cornelius, a man conspicuous a chief centre for the publication of relifrom his youth up for large comprehensive gious prints. We remember to have seen in intellect, the Academy of Dusseldorf owed Rome, twenty years ago, in the studio of its resuscitation, and art in general that l Overbeck, then in the Cenci Palace, de
signs in charcoal prepared expressly for en- | and it is known that a master sometimes graving in Dusseldorf. And we have now numbers among his scholars married men before us several hundred cheap popular and fathers of families. The whole Acadprints published by the well-accre lited emy in fact is a community for study and * Verein zur Verbreitung religioser Bilder, art-work, a guild vigilant for the welláre of in Dusseldorf," engraved from pictures by the painter and his art. When in Germany the best known painters in the Dusseldorf some important national work has been “ Christian school.” Such are among the needed, counsel has been taken of the Dimeans taken to educate the people of Ger- rector by princes or municipalities. The many up to the standard of high art. In best man for the service is indicated; the fact Dusseldorf does as much for religious labour is assigned to some one master, art in a twelve-month as London in a cen- aided by a band of scholars. It would tury.
seem, judging from our own unhappy exThe Dusseldorf Academy has little ex- perience in Eugland, that great national pressly distinctive in its curriculum of study. works are absolute impossibilities where More worthy of remark is the mutual cul- there do not exist trained bands of scholars ture and the relation of brotherhood main- capable of carrying out a concerted scheme tained between professors and pupils. While under the direction of one responsible masother academies may be compared to mon- ter. The evidence of Mr. G. F. Watts, archies or oligarchies, that of Dusseldorf is, R.A. before the Royal Commission was by its liberty and equality, like a republic. strong in favour of the very system which The Director does not constitute himself a bas made the Academy of Dusseldorf a dictator; no one mind, no exclusive art- great art-producing power, while lack of manner, dominates. Thus, during half a such system has left our own Academy imcentury, Dusseldorf, notwithstanding the potent, wholly inoperative upon the nation's ascendancy of the so-called spiritual or art save in the successful multiplication of Christian school, has given equal rights and pretty exhibition pictures. Higher results privileges to all styles, including, of course, in Germany are the products of academic the naturalistic. Even at this moment are culture, and of that fellowship in labour found within her borders painters in man- which subsists between a master and his ner wide as the poles asunder. Among the scholars. It is easy to conceive how much number may be enumerated Professors of ardour, what esprit de corps, have been Deger, Ittenbach, and Carl Muller, leaders engendered by this co-partnership in creain the so-called Christian school; Bende- tion; an old scholar has been known to mann, illustrious by works taken from Jew- ask as a privilege, without prospect of pay, ish history ; Tidemand, the faithful deline- permission to join hands with his master ator of peasant life in Norway; Vautier and over some earnest work. Thus it was in Salentin, devoted to realism and natural- Italy. Raffaelle walked through Rome ism; and Professors Leu, and Andreas with a following of fifty disciples; and the and Oswald Achenbach, famous through- great mural pictures of Rome, Florence, out Europe as painters of coast scenes and Pisa, and Sienna could only have come inlandscapes. These artists, and many more to existence under a system — the origin, scarcely less illustrious, are, either by office, in fact, of the practice in modern Germany early pupilage, residence, or otherwise, which secured to great masters the serbound to the fortunes of that least exclu- vices of devoted bands of scholars. Art sive of all schools of art the Academy of was in Italy a religion; and such has it been Dusseldorf.
in Dusseldorf. The Dusseldorf school seems to renew its Art life in the capital of the Rhenish youth in the life-giving fellowship sustained provinces is more than commonly social, between masters and pupils. A skilled not to say “jolly." Students of various student is not cast adrift; on the contrary, nationalities, some Protestants, others Cathhe is attached to the Academy by the pro-olics, mingle kindly together in mutual tolvision that he may occupy one of its ateliers. eration. This student community assumes Thus talent, first trained and then domi- a certain burgher or citizen attitude, jealciled, is not lost to the spot; thus a gifted ous of its rights. The Academy naturally youth prolongs his influence over his fel- begets kindred associations. In the public low-students, and little by little grows as a Gallery are collected representative works vital member into the body corporate. Ar- of the school. In Jacobi's Garden, a pretty tists here preserve for long the attitude of shady retreat, a well-known resort of poets discipleship; even when arrived at man's and 'philosophers, the artists have located estate they continue to receive the visits of their club, the “ Kunstler Verein MalkasProfessors and the admonition of Directors ; Iten.” To drink coffee or wine beneath the
trees, a painter or two perchance within cessories for backgrounds. The landscape view making outdoor studies, we have our- capabilities of regions within reach of Dusselves found pleasant in the sunny summer seldorf — the vintage-clad Rhine, the hills time. In winter the artists indulge in the- of Bavaria, the mountains of the Tyrol, not atricals; the walls of the club are decorated to mention the accessible fiords of Scandiby its members with mural paintings, and navia - have been turned to excellent acready fancy and rapid hands' find no diffi- count by Lessing, Leu, and Achenbach. culty in extemporizing scenery, colouring It may be added that Bierstadt, the Amermasks, concocting costumes, and complet- ican, formed his style in Dusseldorf; it was ing other stage properties which have at there he learnt how to paint the Rocky least the merit of being somewhat out of Mountains after the approved German fashthe common. The artists in Rome show ion. These and other artists of scarcely like histrionic propensities. Indeed any less renown place Düsseldorf landscape, one who may have glanced at art life on the notwithstanding its vicious colour, in the Continent will readily believe that the foremost position among rival national painters of Dusseldorf give themselves schools. kindly to masking and practical joking, fun The Düsseldorf school has been divided and frolic of all sorts. At Dusseldorf too, between two contending factions — the one as at Venice in the days of Giorgione, music spiritual and ideal, the other natural and is the painter's passion. Here Mendelssohn realistic. Of the former, the lovely church, lived two years; here he conducted the worthy of a pilgrimage, at Remagen, on the “St. Paul,” and the master's refining in- Rhine, is the brightest manifestation. Upon fluence bas survived even to the present the walls of this chapel, Deger, Ittenbach, day. Altogether, it is easy to see in artist Carl and Andreas Müller, all distinguished life at Dusseldorf, as at Rome, how gener-members of the Diisseldorf Academy, have ously Continental manners lend themselves given ardent expression to their pictorial, to free and easy ways. Feasts and holi- not to say religious, faith. This impressive days in Roman Catholic countries favour interior of highly-wrought polychroine natartist festivals; life is more scenic and pic- urally suggests comparison with Giotto's turesque than in lands where cold, com- Arena Chapel, Padua. Such modern Germercial reason bas ostracized imagination. man revivals, indeed, have much of the Dusseldorf, moreover, still maintains rural character and spirit of early Christian art. simplicity; she is yet happily exempt from The forms are studiously lovely; the heads that fashionable frivolity which trades for lofty and ideal in type; the draperies acaits own empty ends on artists' inherent demic in symmetry; the colours refined and vanities. Thus the quiet town is more fa- pure; the execution delicately soft. Cervourable to study than gay capitals like tainly these lovely, though somewhat feeble Berlin or Munich.. On the whole, this and conventional, wall-pictures are not afabode of painters is a pleasant place to live flicted with the hardness, opacity, and cruin. Academicians from the windows of dity which often make German frescoes reateliers command picturesque views over pellent, Unlike also to the frescoes in the the swift-flowing Rhine, the sails of passing Houses of Parliament, Westminster, the crast shining in the sun. The town is mural pictures at Remagen, in common prettily situated among trees, gardens, and with wall-paintings in Germany generally, running waters; nature puts on winning remain just as fresh as when first painted. ways, though she scarcely rises into heroics; In direct antagonism with the spiritual and so those artists who find themselves phase of the Dusseldorf school, as manirestless under throes of imagination betake tested at Remagen, is the naturalism and themselves in the sketching season to the realism of which Karl Friedrich Lessing highlands of the Upper Khine. Hence, may be taken as the express exponent. when summer comes, ambitious spirits, con- This manly painter is best judged by the solidating into caravans, migrate in search series of pictures from the Reformation of of the sublime. Pilgrimage is made to old Huss, two whereof are familiar to Rhine Romanesque Churches, to Rhenish castles tourists tarrying at Frankfort. An interlegend-haunted. It has been said that po- esting narrative might be written of Lesetry and lyric music animate the wine-grow- sing's career and Protestant creed, if he has ing districts of the Rhine. Certainly the one. It is generally supposed that the sketching ground which nature has pro- painter, as the champion of liberty and of vided as a domain to the school of Dussel- nature, led a kind of Protestant revolt in dort furnishes to the artist's portfolio cap- the Academy of Dusseldorf against servilital material, whether in type of peasantry, ity to tradition. On the other hand, we character in costume, or picturesque ac- are assured that the defiant Huss pictures
were not hurled as painted pamphlets against wherein, as in England, pictorial, poetie, the Church. Lessing, it seems to be ad- and plain prose products are criticized and mitted, holds to no one faith sufficiently discnssed to the mutual edification of artists, firmly to side as a partisan in any polemic authors, and hearers. It is said moreover strife. In Christianity he loves what is that æsthetics of the true transcendental simple in life, free in thought, manly in ac- sort find entrance into select art coteries, tion. In his art he does not trouble him that thus speculative thought becomes as it self with legends of saints or manifestations were crystallized into visible and tangible of the supernatural; he believes that the form, and so in the end the arts in Dusselhighest function of art is to set forth a no-dorf may be supposed to reflect even the ble humanity, to depict the great men, abnormal phases of the national mind. minds, and deeds in history; he is content Perhaps at any rate it may be conceded to plant a firm foot in time and place, and that pictures produced within the last fifty he surrenders willingly to others the realms years indicate that the Dusseldorf school of imagination. The Dusseldorf school has been brought into contact with some has profited by the doctrines of Lessing. of the best intellects of the age. On the easel of Tidemand may now be seen an altar-piece for a Protestant Church in Norway, “ The Baptism of Christ ”- a large work which, by its individuality, realism, and vigour, must be regarded as a
From The Spectator, 26 Dec. direct reaction to the “ spiritualism" that MR. BRIGHT AS AN OLD-TESTAMENT
WORTHY. long reigned in Dusseldorf.
Professor Bendemann, now Director of Mr. BRIGHT, in bis striking little speech the Academy, takes a middle course be- at Birmingham on the occasion of his retween “spiritualists” and “realists." He election, likened his own feelings, when has just executed a vast cartoon, an epi- asked to become a Minister of the Crown, sode in the destruction of Jerusalem; also to those of “ the great woman of Sbunem, a series of wall-paintings after a newly in- in one of the most pathetic and striking of vented oil-process. Other signs of the times all the narratives of the Old Testament, still more marked tell that a reaction has who, when entreated by the prophet Elisha set in — that in Dusseldorf, as in Germany to tell him how he could use his interest for and the world at large, art has forsaken her “ with the King or the captain of the idealism for individualism. It may be to host," answered, with grave simplicity, “ I some people a consolation to learn that the dwell among inine own people." It is not frescoes at Remagen, Munich, and Spires, for the first time, and probably not for the wherein the so-called spiritual school of twentieth, that Mr. Bright, in his speeches, Germany has expended its fervour, are has had recourse to the language of the Old not likely soon to fade away. German Testament to express with the greater force frescoes, we repeat, have stood well; un- and vividness the true feeling at the bottom like failures perpetrated in England, they of his heart. The present writer remenare not discoloured or faded; they do not, bers perfectly the effect produced upon a as the mural pictures at Westminster, blis- vast audience in the days of Free-Trade ter, break into eruptions, and finally fall as monster meetings by the conclusion of one dirty dust from the walls. On the contrary, of Mr. Bright's speeches for untaxed bread, with some few unimportant exceptions, in which he reminded his audience of what chiefly of works unprotected froin the “ royal lips had uttered on divine authority, weather, frescoes in Germany after a trial that the poor should not always be forof more than twenty years remain sound and gotten, that the patient abiding of the meek intact as if painted but yesterday. It will should not perish for ever."" Quite lately remain a special honour to Dusseldorf that he concluded one of bis finest speeches on she has naturalized in Northern Europe Ireland by reminding the House of Conithis ancient Italian mode of mural decora- mons, - an audience rarely addressed in tion.
language of that kind, — of the promise Intellectual life in Dusseldorf seems nei- that “to the upright there ariseth light in ther lower nor higher than at other centres the darkness." With a little patience we where painters or sculptors. congregate. could easily multiply many fold the proofs Experience shows that, when an artist has how deeply' ingrained in Mr. Bright's imworked hard duriug the morning, he sur- agination is the grave and sententious pasrenders the rest of the day to play. We sion of the Old Testament. We do not, hear, however, of certain literary and ar- indeed, mean that either free trade or tistic associations, of pen and pencil clubs, I household suffrage are well-marked Old
Testament ideas, – that David wished for through Mr. Bright, some snatch of the a foreign policy of non-intervention, - that stateliness and passion (in its higher sense) Solomon had conceived even that necessary of that great history into our rather petty, preliminary to the policy of a “ free break- feverish, and technical modern politics. last-table, a taxed breakfast-table, In the first place, there is something of that the compound householder of Bir- the stately siinplicity of the Old Testament mingham was anticipated among the citi- about Mr. Bright's political style, and in zens of Joppa, Jericho, or Jerusalem. The his constant and profound insight into the Old Testament references to foreign policy relation of politics to domestic life. The are couched much more in the tone of Mr. confession in his speech the other day that Bright's memorable" Perish, Savoy !” than it had been his ambition to grow a freer in the tone of his universal-brotherhood man as he grew older, whereas he found speeches. Indeed, Moab and Edom are himself becoming more and more fettered not unfrequently referred to in the Old by his obligations to his friends, his party, Testament in terms not unlike those used and his country, his evidently sincere exby Mr. Bright of Turkey or Savoy, or any pression of feeling that 'to speak for bim' other State for whom England might be to the Queen was doing him the very oppoexpected to go to war, and which Mr. site of a personal service, since, like the Bright would at such times gladly declare great woman of Shrinem, he dwelt to be his “wash-pot," or aspire to among
bis own people,” is a fair illustration his shoe" over them, – not for good luck. of this simplicity. But there are other inOtherwise Mr. Bright is not quite in sym- stances still more striking, not only of this pathy with the tone of the Old Testament dignified simplicity, but of that value for on foreign policy. Ezekiel apparently did domestic life as at the heart of national life, not approve of Tyre's being a free port, which reminds us of the political tone of a and the trade with the Isles of Chittim, period when a shepherd was on the throne, the islands of the Mediterranean, was by and his ministers and friends brought home no means a matter of congratulation with to him his sins as a king, by the freshest, him; and yet his denunciation of the un- and simplest incidents taken from domestic righteous traffic of Tyre, - apparently the life. Who but Mr. Bright could have Greek slave trade, the trade with “ Javan spoken to the House of Commons, — and in the persons of men,"— was couched in spoken to it with the greatest effect, in language not unlike some of Mr. Bright's. such language as this, in pleading for a defiIn short, though we are by no means dis- nite line of policy on the great Civil War in posed to think of the middle-class Member America ? -“ I want to know whether you for Birmingham as strongly resembling an feel as I feel on this question. When I can old Hebrew statesman or prophet, yet there get down to my home from this House, I is just enough of the Old Testament stamp find half-a-dozen little children playing upon in him to produce a certain grandeur and my hearth. How many members are there picturesqueness of effect in its contrast with who can say with me that the most innothe indistinct political types of our modern cent, the most pure, the most holy joy days. In contrast, at least, to his chief which in their past years they have felt, or colleagues, - to Mr. Gladstone, in whom in their future years they have hoped for, religious and secular qualities are curiously has not risen from contact and association mixed and confused, in a subtle amalgam of with our precious children? Well, then, if what we may call confluent contraries, re- that be so, if, when the hand of death takes minding one more of the mixtures of type one of these flowers from our dwelling, our characteristic of worthies of the New Testa- heart is overwhelmed with sorrow and our ment era than of the grand and simple out- household is covered with gloom, what lines of the Old,- to Mr. Cardwell, who would it be if our children were brought assuredly suggests nothing less than such a up to this infernal system, one hundred Hebrew minister of war as Joab, to Mr. and fifty thousand of them every year Lowe, whose mere existence tends to make brought into the world in these Slave the previous existence of Isaiah difficult of States, amongst their ' gentlemen,' amongst belief to a vivid imagination, — in contrast this chivalry,' amongst these men that we to these, at least, Mr. Bright seems to re- can make our friends ? " The grave simassure us that the race of the Old Testa- plicity and the power of simple domestic pent is really of one stock with the human- feeling in that passage, made subservient, ity of our own country and day. And there as it was, to a political rebuke in the most may be some interest, if there is not much reticent and fastidious political assembly in instruction, in noting the features to which the world, has scarcely any better parallel we refer, and which import, as we think, I – different as of course the style must ne