« AnteriorContinua »
lines of the landscape are not blurred sober yet subtle, of Dante's greatest but exquisitely selected and worked. passages. There is, thank heaven,
A quality like this Tuscan one is, as wholesome art various enough to apI have once before remarked, in some peal to many various healthy temperameasure, abstract; a general character, ments; and perhaps for each single like that of a composite photograph, se- temperament more than one kind of lected and compounded by the repeti- art is needful. My object in the foretion of the more general and the exclusion going pages has not been to put forof more individual features. In so far, ward reasons for preferring the art of therefore, it is something rather tended the Tuscans any more than the climate towards in reality than thoroughly ac- and landscape of Tuscany; but merely complished; and its accomplishment, to to bring home what the especial charm whatever extent, is naturally due to a and power of Tuscan art and Tuscan tradition, a certain habit among artists nature seem to me to be. More can be and public, which neutralizes the re. gained by knowing any art lovingly in fractory tendencies of individuals (the itself than by knowing twenty arts from personal morbidness evident, for in- each other through dry comparison. stance, in Botticelli) and makes the I have tried to suggest rather than most of what the majority may have to explain in what way the art of a in common—that dominant interest, let
country may answer to its natural us say, in line and mass. Such being character, by inducing recurrent moods the case, this Tuscan quality comes to of a given kind. I would not have it an end with the local art of the middle thought, however, that such moods ages, and can no longer be found, or need be dominant, or even exist at all, only imperfect, after the breaking up in all the inhabitants of that country. and fusion of the various schools and Art, wide as its appeal may be, is no the arising of eclectic personalities in more a product of the great mass of the earliest 16th century. After the
persons than is abstract thought or painters born between 1450 and 1460, special invention, however largely there are no , more genuine Tuscans. these may be put to profit by the genLeonardo, once independent of Ver- erality. The bulk of the inhabitants rocchio and settled in Lombardy, is help to make the art by furnishing the barely one of them; and Michelangelo occasional exceptionally endowed creanever at all-Michelangelo with his ture called an artist, by determining moods all of Rome or the great moun. his education and surroundings, in so tains, full of trouble, always, and trag. far as he is a mere citizen; and, finally, edy. These great personalities, and by bringing to bear on him the stored the other eclectics, Raphael foremost, up habit of acquiescence in whatever bring qualities to art which it had art has been accepted by that public lacked before, and are required to make from the artists of the immediate past. it appear legitimately universal. I should In fact the majority affects the artist shrink from judging their importance, mainly as itself has been affected by compared with the older and more his predecessors. If, therefore, the local and traditional men. Still further scenery and climate call forth moods from me is it to prefer this Tuscan art in a whole people definite enough to to that, as local and traditional in its influence the art, this will be due, I way, of Umbria or Venetia, which think, to some especially gifted individstands to this as the most poignant ual having, at one time or another, lyric or the richest romance stands, let brought home those moods to them. us say, to the characteristic quality, Therefore, we need feel no surprise
if any individual, peasant or man of and habits a sanctuary where the soul business or abstract thinker, reveal a stops elbowing and trampling, and belack, even a total lack, of such impres- ing elbowed and trampled; nay, rather, sions as I am speaking of; nor even a holy hill, neither ploughed nor hunted if among those who love art a great over, a free high place in which we can proportion be still incapable of iden- see clearly, breathe widely, and, for a tifying those vague contemplative while, live harmlessly, serenely, fully. emotions from which all art is Thinking these thoughts for the hun. sprung. It is not merely the special dredth time, feeling them in a way as endowment of eye, ear, hand, not I feel the landscape, I walk home by merely what we call artistic talent the dear rock path girdling Fiesole, which is exceptional and vested in in- within sound of the chisels of the quardividuals only. It takes a surplus of ries. Blackthorn is now mixed in the sensitiveness and energy to be deter- bare purple hedgerows, and almond mined in one's moods by natural sur- blossom, here and there, whitens the roundings instead of solely by one's sere oak and the black rocks above. own wants or circumstances or busi- These are the heights from which, as ness. Now, art is born of just this tradition has it, Florence descended; surplus sensitiveness and energy; it is the people of which Dante said: the response, not to the impressions made by our private ways and means,
Che discese da Fiesole ab antico, but to the impressions made by the
E tiene ancor del monte e del macigno, ways and means of the visible, sensible universe.
meaning it in anger. But it is true, But once produced, art is received, and truer in the good sense also. Mounand more or less assimilated, by the tain and rock! the art of Tuscany is rest of mankind, to whom it gives, in sprung from it, from its arduous fruit. greater or less degree, more of such fulness, with the clear stony stream, sensitiveness and energy than it could and the sparse gentle olive, and the cy. otherwise have had. Art thus calls press, unshaken by the wind, forth contemplative emotions, other- scorched by the sun, and shooting inwise dormant, and creates in the rou- flexibly upwards. tine and scramble of individual wants
Vernon Lee. The Contemporary Review,
Feb. 24, 1900.
SPRING AND ELD.
Mid the proud pomp of jocund Spring
I saw Eld meekly stand;
A crutch in either hand.
Ella Fuller Maitland.
THE PRICE OF AN INSPIRATION.
"Guten Morgen, Fräulein Katinka!" and so break the fine heart of a poet."
She menaced him over the banisters She leant a little more towards him, with her violin case.
the smile in her dark blue eyes giving "Good morning, Mr. Carl Brenner! the lie to her sharp words. Why don't you speak English? and "In fact you require a knitting-ma. my name is Kathleen, not Katinka!" chine and cook combined. I wish you
He shrugged his shoulders, and the joy of your Katinka, when she is sunshine laughed in his eyes.
yours." "Ach! I have not the brogue, and "Then is the joy sure to come, my your Irish tongue runs itself away un- Fräulein; but first I would want your til I stop you with a big German pity, that I may only dream of my word.”
love, until the golden thalers come to “Why Katinka?” she persisted; "it is visit an empty purse." most rude to call me anything so “The dream is sometimes best,” she ugly."
answered softly. “It never disap“It is not ugly, and your 'Käszlein' points. Now one of mine is just comis hard to say. But Katinka! she is of ing true, and I am a little frightened.” me the ideal-so good. She will cook A certain apprehension drove the me my meals-warm me my panto- gaiety from his face. "This dream ffeln! Ach! She is hausengel, mit all then is it-? Ach, no! You ould not the kitchen graces at the ends of her announce it so. Tell me, mein Fräufingers.”
lein, that I may know what can make “How commonplace you are! As if you look so happy." the Goddess of every German did not She was indeed radiant, and palpitalive in the kitchen and spend her very ting with anxiety to share her good soul in making him fat. Your Ka- news with some one; just then Carl tinka will have no second idea beyond Brenner was a special providence. He kartoffeln and pickled cabbages!" was always so charmingly sympa-,
He looked down a little shyly, yet thetic in anything that concerned her. smiling.
"On Tuesday I am playing at a con“But she will love me, and the kart- cert-a grand concert!" offeln and cabbages shall be but her “So! At the Conservatoire; but that care of me. Love has a thousand has happened often before ?" voices, yet are they not lowly or de- “Now, do you think I am making all spised.”
this fuss about a mere students' con“But your imaginary Katinka, with cert? Don't you know I am out of my her soul all frittered away with little apprenticeship, and have my name to things, how will
she ever know make?" enough to help you? She will live "No!" he interrupted, “I make it for alone, outside your life.”
you, Katinka the Great!-not the little "You mistake," he answered, with Käszlein!" mingled pride and tenderness.
This time he had to defend himself lean not upon her, but rather she on against descending justice, but she me, for that is as it should be. And was too proud of herself to be severe. then a too clever wife might burn me “I am to play two solos at the my rhymes if they pleased her not, Grand-Ducal Concert on Tuesday!
Was denkst du, Oh! your detestable She nodded. “But I thought Schiller German! I mean what do you think gold medallists might not compete?' of that?"
"Nein! Nein! Es war mir-it was With a quick impulsive motion of of me the error! The struggle is for his hand he had brushed away her them only, and the honor great to the momentary confusion-for in such winner." things Carl had gentle ways—and his “But how little time! Have you enthusiasm quite satisfied her.
only just learnt this?" "It is wonderful fortune, Fräulein; I "I knew it not an hour ago; but I congratulate you. So like another will be ready. I am even working Lorelei sitting aloft in your high now. It shall mean perchance famechamber, you have made captive the and my loved ideal!" Grand-Ducal ear his Highness She stretched down to him a hand passed by? Wunderlich!"
of warm encouragement. “Courage They both laughed, for it was well then, brave comrade! for we are both known that his Highness could sleep trembling on the brink. But how can peacefully and enjoyingly through the your Katinka help you here, unless loudest and most impassioned strains. yours is to be the romance of a cookEven his own regimental brass band, ing-stove!" blaring and clashing outside the pal- He looked up in laughing rebuke. ace windows, was to him as a lullaby "Ach! das Käszlein! I kiss the velvet inducing sweet rest. But then he was paw that can only play at scratching. a brave old man, and had faced can. My theme is love, therefore is Katinka non and lived through bombardments, already my great inspiration." so his occasional snores accentuating a A golden ripple of merriment parted dainty pianissimo passage were chari- them, but as she darted away out of tably allowed for.
sight he called up the stairs"He has nothing to do with it. The "One little moment, Fräulein! Does Directorate have substituted me for it happen on Tuesday your concert?" Frau Fichte, who is ill. It is a grand “Yes," her clear voice answered chance, one in a thousand, and may him, and then became hesitating. “But in the near future mean Paris, Lon- this time it must only be a tiny bunch don-fame!"
of violets. I will wear nothing more It was no idle boasting, for she rec- extravagant." ognized her own power, and had
"So,” he agreed cheerfully, and "so," worked hard to perfect it. Nothing as every one knows, stands for anygives such confidence so much as hard thing or nothing, just as a German work. Moreover she was speaking to chooses. But Kathleen Haynes little a fellow-student in another branch of knew as she entered her room art, one who himself had ambitions iblithely that Carl's preoccupation in: and eager hopes. They understood his inspired task had made him a little each other, and his face reflected the less clear-headed, and that in his light on hers.
mind an English Tuesday confused it“And I too,” he began, so eagerly self with a German Wednesday before that his good careful English suffered he had written two lines of his poem. a little. “There is to me a great But he did not forget her flowers, chance also. You have heard of the
which were to be rarer than violets. Preisgedicht that shall be chosen by In pure lightness of heart she went the Heidelberg University before singing to the window and threw it many days?"
open. What a joyous time had been
hers in Weinbergen-a time of hard fidence, and make them sharers 8f her work, of earnest endeavor and happy joy, for she was buoyantly elated, and play with the glamor and romance of tremulously hopeful of astonishing a quaint old German city to gild all not the Grand-Duke for that was beher life, and set even its lonely hours yond her—but the artistic, critical auwith precious stones of remembered dience which follows in the wake of glory. It was as the miniature of a Grand-Dukes. Amongst such would young face framed gorgeously with be, as she knew, her judges, with jewels and gold. Nor were such rich power to dispose of her future, and surroundings wasted, for she had Frau Fichte's illness had paved the weaved them cunningly into her work, way to a quick sentence. But she and she would play wearisome scales meant to plead her own cause with by the hour together to the honor of burning eloquence and win it; consome departed hero who had been scious power sent the bright flush into great in patience.
her face, the light into her eyes, and Why! just over against her, in the again she nodded blithely to the narrow street, the eyes of a great pigeons. Then, too, there was Carl genius had first seen the light. True Brenner--such a pleasant background that a fine statue in a more aristo- to the picture, in which she mistakcratic centre bore witness of him, yet enly thought ambition was the central it was even better to be able to look figure. Of course she knew that these into the very room where he had sentimental
Germans had played as a child, and lisped his first pretty, poetical ways of expressing prayer.
themselves, which were only to be The gleaming white pigeons seemed lightly heeded. to have their own sentiment on the But was not Carl different from the subject, and sunned themselves more rest, more earnest even in his merry benignly on that quaint slanting root moments-and, to herself she whisthan on any other. Kathleen returned pered,
faithful and true of their bows, cooing to them softly in heart? For the present it was enough their own tongue-one need only be that they were in a sense fellow-stuhappy to do such ridiculous things- dents, which is close and dear while from the street below a pleas- and wholesome companionship—try it, ant babel of busy feet, cheerful voices men and maidens, who are weary of and quick laughter proclaimed how playing with each other-and a haze good it was to be alive. But few go of sunlight veiled all the future. sadly when the market-place is one Once more she and the self-satisfied great bouquet of flower-laden scents pigeons mutually genuflected, and then and luscious ripe fruits; when the she made herself some coffee the ramparts of the city are all vineyards happiest young soul in all Weinbursting to a rich harvest, with sum- bergen. mer itself caught and stayed in the golden meshes to heighten the mellow Carl Brenner sat at his disordered glory of autumn, and make the vint- desk in despair. The cathedral chimes age rare. Life then is strong and glad; marking every passing quarter of the the heart beats merrily, bright ripples hour maddened him. They did not are on the river, and in the air a song pass-they raced; and his pulses beat of plenty and thanksgiving.
out the second, until he was conscious No wonder then that Kathleen had of nothing but the remorseless throbto take even the pigeons into her con- bing. To morrow his work would have