Original Etchings by American Artists

Author Koehler, S. R.


call numberNE2186 .K7

To L. A. Webster. A token of love and gratitude from your friend. E. E. Wright. Dec. 25th 1883.
Original Etchings by American Artists

Cassell and Company, Limited

New York, London, and Paris

Copyright, 1883, By O. M. Dunham. Press OF J. J. Little & Co., Nos. 10 to 20 Astor Place, New York.

Scroll Table to show more columns

A TOWER OF CORTES Thomas Moran, A.N.A.
THE THREE COWS J. Foxcroft Cole
THE DESERTED MILL Kruseman Van Elten, N.A.
THE MORA PLAYERS Frederick Dielman, N.A.
TWILIGHT J. A. S. Monks.


The duty with which I have been charged, of introducing to the public the collection of original etchings by American artists which forms the marrow, and, indeed, the only raison d'être of this volume, is a most honorable, and in many respects pleasant one, although it is not without its difficulties. It is almost impossible now-a-days to write anything about etching that has not been written before. The technical processes of the art have been expounded ad nauseam within the last few years, in books, periodicals, lectures, catalogues, and newspapers. To assume that even a few only of my readers might be unacquainted with the details of these processes, would be an insult. The time has passed, also, when it was necessary to plead and apologize for etching, as for a thing of doubtful standing, which good society looked upon with suspicion, and toward which it was inclined to assume a somewhat repellent attitude. Good society has long ago admitted it to full standing; and if it will only keep strictly to this society, avoiding that other which is not good, but merely fashionable, it may look for a prosperous and long-continued career.
There is one point, however, upon which I may perhaps venture to enlarge, with some hope of doing what may not be entirely superfluous. This is the desirability of a better understanding of the nature of etching, and a general enlargement of views as to its capacities. In the first enthusiasm stirred up by the revival and further development of the art, it was but natural that the immaturity of the views then held should result in much writing and talking, which clearly bore the traces of its origin. Chief among the conclusions arrived at rather hastily, was the doctrine of the limitations of etching. To talk of such limitations was not, indeed, a new thing. One of the principal shortcomings attributed to etching long ago was its pretended inability to represent textures. Even so fair-minded a judge as Adam von Bartsch concludes his list of the disadvantages of the art with the fassertion "that the various stuffs, with but few exceptions, cannot be treated with such evident verisimilitude [with the needle] as with the graver." That was, however, something like fifty years before the days of Jules Jacquemart, who, according to Charles Blanc, compelled etching to say what it had never been able to say before. "With the point of his needle, writes M. Blanc, "he expresses the density of porphyry; the coldness of porcelain; the insinuating surface of Chinese lacquer; the transparent and imponderable finesse of Venetian glassware; the reliefs and the chased lines of the most delicate works of the goldsmith, almost imperceptible in their slightness; the polish of iron and steel; the glitter, the reflections, and even the sonority of bronze; the color of silver and of gold, as well as the lustre of the diamond, and all the appreciable shades of the emerald, the turquoise, and the ruby." Shear this exuberant utterance of the enthusiastic Frenchman of its exaggerations, as for instance the sonority of bronze," and there will still be left enough to provoke a smile on a comparison with the quotation from Bartsch. "It always happens," says Mr. Hamerton, "that when you have laid down a rigid rule of some kind, several artists of ability will infringe your rule, and do it with such undeniable taste and judgment, that the public will side with them, and you, the authoritative critic, will be left to preach in the desert." If this turns out to be true of Bartsch, certainly one of the best equipped critics, according to the lights of his time, who ever wrote upon the reproductive, or rather multiplying arts, what may not be in store for others? Here is a well-to-be-heeded warning for doctrinaires who, from what has not been, would judge of what can not be. As Jacquemart enabled etching to say what it had never been able- to say before, so may others enlarge its scope in other directions. An art is wrong only when it tries to imitate a method which is more congenial to a sister art. But each is free for itself to find its own expression for a fact, and no one is empowered to say what facts it may or may not be able to express.
The limitations imposed upon etching by later law-givers, are, however, much more cramping than the one quoted from Bartsch. Indeed, while the older author simply stated a supposed fact, which experience seemed to make evident, his later colleagues have adopted the style of the decalogue, and give weight to their dicta by a premonitory "Thou shalt not." Etching, it is said, is a linear art, and —as a sort of corollary naturally growing out of this proposition—it is argued that its true province, and, indeed, its only legitimate one, is the sketch or indication.
That etching is a linear art, that is to say an art which must use the line as a means, is a truism. It is not true, however, that the line can express form only, or any one other thing only. If that were so, line engraving and the woodcut would never have come to be looked upon as the reproductive methods best fitted for the translation of finished paintings. Moreover, as compared with the methods just named, etching has other advantages, which must not be lost sight of: the freedom and warmth of its line, the brilliancy to be obtained by judicious printing, the subtilty supplied by its inseparable adjunct, the dry point. But it is not my intention to discuss technical questions here, for the purpose of enforcing the point I wish to make: this, namely, that the great charm and value, and above all, the marvellous adaptability of etching to our present needs, is to be sought in its versatility. I prefer to rest my. argument upon evidence which is accessible to all. We have seen that theory is apt to shoot wide of the mark, and when it runs counter to the facts of history, as it does in the case under consideration, it is well to disown it outright. Upon another occasion, I have already cited the example of Rembrandt, "whose varying moods," if I may be pardoned for quoting myself, "sought expression in works which range from a slight indication to the extreme of elaboration." But it is not necessary to go back to the seventeenth century for proof. Any good collection of modern original etchings will be even better fitted than older specimen to make clear my point to the seeker after information, whose mind is unclouded by prejudice or unpoisoned by conceit. Examine carefully and compare with one another such plates as Millet's simple and yet pathetic "Return from Labor," or the same artist's "Gleaners"; Jean Paul Laurens's terribly realistic "Victor Tranchart"; Piccinni's cunningly executed character studies, with their refined gray lines; Fortuny's sombre "Mourner" Méryon's painstaking, but nevertheless thoroughly poetical architectural plates, which alone are sufficient to show that etching is not restricted to the poetry of decay; Whistler's latest Venetian etching, the most effective work so far done with such slight means; F. Seymour Haden's vigorous "Erith Marshes"; Lalanne's "At Zaandam," all the more delicate and airy by contrast; Appian's grandiose "The Pool"; Lancon's splendid renderings of lions, and, finally, Jacque's "Sheep Stable," executed with all the loving care of a finished engraver's etching, and then consider the vast range of aim and method shown in them! Which of these works shall we throw away as worthless, and which of them shall we set up as the true standard to be followed?
This doctrine of limitations is, I fear, the outcome only of individual limitations. But it behooves the calm observer, who stands outside the charmed circle of art, unswayed by the passions that rule within, to rise above them, and to recognize the truth that the beautiful art of etching is as broad and as all-embracing as the capacities of the human mind. To such an observer much of the talk also about the spontaneity of the painter's etching, and the inspiration of the moment, will appear somewhat absurd, when he considers the difficulties which beset the etcher, the necessity of reversing the lights and the darks, and the vicissitudes of biting, which require careful attention, and skill acquired by practice. Nevertheless, we may still maintain that the true painter's etching is naturally sketchy, arid even more suggestive than all other black-and-white art must necessarily be. But it is well to recognize that the work of the artist who assumes the role of his own interpreter may be quite as valuable, and that the improvisatore is not the only poet. Who of all the readers of Goethe would be willing to miss the "Iphigenia," or the "Faust," the result of the better part of a lifetime, because the few lines, "Ueber alien Gipfeln ist Ruh'," which the poet scribbled upon the walls of a garden house in a moment of sadness, has moved him to tears ? It is a sorry compliment which we pay to genius by maintaining that it can work only under the momentary spur of an impulse. Truly, the sustained effort of genius, the flame kept steadily burning until the task is done, is worthy of at least as much admiration as the lightning-like flash, which for a moment blinds us and leaves us ever after enveloped in darkness. If the adoption of this conclusion involves self-criticism, that is a sacrifice which we must cheerfully offer upon the altar of truth.
These reflections on the versatility of etching are specially applicable to the art as practised in the United States. Despite the well-marked individuality of the units which go to make up the whole of any one of the nations of Europe, there is, nevertheless, in the case of each, a higher characteristic, which gives a distinct flavor to the art of each people; so that we may look upon French etching, English etching, or German etching, as separate and definable bodies. It is hardly possible that the art of the United States should have developed, as yet, any such characteristic, by which the different species might be known as members of one genus. And the etchings here gathered, the productions of artists who, either through their ancestors or in their own persons, came together from lands widely separated by distance as well as by historical development, bear evidence of the fact. Nor do the twenty plates offered to the public in this volume give a thoroughly adequate idea of the diverging tendencies observable in American art. At the Exhibition of American Etchings, held at the Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston, in the spring of 1881, over one hundred etchers were represented, and the ranks have been swelled considerably since then. It goes without saying that among this large mass of workers there are considerably more than twenty whom one would like to include in a truly representative collection. But practical necessities are continually at war with ideal desires, and these necessities had to be recognized here as elsewhere.
The short text which accompanies each plate, does not aspire to be critical. Its aim is mainly to supply such elucidations of the subjects as may seem desirable. The great variety of these subjects will be noticeable at a glance. Europe and America have both furnished themes, and the time-honored glories of Florence and Venice are found side by side with the almost tropical splendor of Mexico and the simpler, but not less poetical scenery of the coast of New England, while the Indian and the Negro stand upon the same basis, as regards their artistic usefulness, with the cavalier of the seventeenth century. Nor is the ideal note wanting, although the prevailing key is decidedly realistic.
The short data which have been added concerning each artist may seem superfluous to American readers, to whom they are familiar. But I trust that they will be welcome to the many European friends of art, whose interest in the doings of the New World is so evidently growing from year to year.
It is needless, perhaps, to state that all the etchings in this collection were made specially for the purpose, and that none of them have ever been published before.


Henry Farrer.

ACCORDING to a rash statement made in the Introduction, each of the plates in this volume is to be accompanied by such elucidations of the subject as may seem desirable. But who is there that needs or would ask an elucidation of a subject so simple and yet so universally attractive as this one which Mr. Farrer has chosen for his etching? And who, if such elucidation were asked, could give it? The only being who could do justice to the task would be a poet, a second Thoreau, as full as he of the love and the lore of nature, as subtile as he in his powers of observation and description. What an admirable chapter he might have added to his "Walden," if it had occurred to him to speak of the winter twilight! How delightfully he might have discoursed of the tracery of branch and bough and twig, relieved against the mellow gold of a quiet evening sky—more intricate and more enrapturing than the finest lace ever worn by noble lady—veritable punto in aria, worked in the pure air of heaven, by the deft fingers of Nature herself, but much superior to that in many ways, speaking of health and life and freedom, and calling up no visions of emaciated needle-women wearing away their hearts' blood in never-ending drudgery, that some proud beauty may reap the triumph of a fleeting moment. This lace work of nature is one of the greatest charms of the winter landscape, going far to console us for the loss of the fresh greens of spring and summer, or the rich tints of autumn. And it is never more beautiful than at the time of the afterglow, when the fading light melts the bewildering entanglement into still greater mystery. Thus each season has its special beauties for those who know where to look for them.
There are other features in Mr. Farrer's etching which invite to poetizing—the cottages by the roadside, the farmer wending his way homeward after the labors of the day—adding a pastoral sentiment, for the expression of which we would have to turn to some other than Thoreau. His poetry is too wild, has too much of the acerbity of uncultivated fruit about it, to suit so gentle and idyllic a vein. It would be easy to supply a fitting verse from some English poet, and the association would be quite in keeping, as there is a decidedly English air in the scene. Is it an unconscious reassertion of the English blood of the artist?
All this is unnecessary, however. The close of day has set the poets a-singing ever since man learned to think, and he who does not feel its influences, is not himself moved to poetry by it—poetry felt rather than spoken, unconscious even, yet filling the soul with a passing glow—will receive little aid from the utterances of another, which come to him enshrouded in the printed page. There is no quickening of the dead, and he must be dead indeed, whose soul is not stirred by the living poetry of the hour.
Henry Farrer was born in London, on March 23, 1843, and came to America when he was nineteen years old. He is best known as a water-color painter and etcher, although he paints occasionally also in oil. As an etcher, Mr. Farrer has been one of the busiest men in the United States. His first attempt was made about 1858, when he succeeded in building a small press, and supplying himself with the tools and materials, all self-made, used in etching. Among the artist's earlier efforts was a series of eleven plates, illustrative of Old New York. His principal activity as an etcher dates, however, from the organization, in 1877, of the New York Etching Club. Since then he has executed eighty-seven plates, for many of which, and among these some of his finest, he has found the subjects along the docks and among the shipping of New York Harbor. Looking over his œuvre, it is a most interesting and curious study to follow the artist's development from his earlier pre-Raphaelite tendencies to his present style. Mr. Farrer is president of the New York Etching Club and secretary of the American Water Color Society. He is a member also of the Philadelphia Society of Etchers and the Society of Painter-Etchers of London.
Back to List of Plates


T. W. Wood, V.P.N.A

THE negro element, under whatever aspect we may look at it, has been one of the most important factors in the development of the United States. Upon its introduction depended the growth of the cotton industry. Around the status of the negro revolved the whole history of the country, since its separation from the mother-land. To the negro the people owed their most characteristic entertainments, and from him they received their most popular songs. Literature is indebted to the black man for "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and kindred works. Artistically considered, the race is also of value, whether, in accordance with the latest tendencies of our day, we care merely for the outward, picturesque appearance of things, or whether we adhere to more antiquated views, in the belief that there is a soul in art. Nowhere is a richer treasury of subject to be found than in the history and the life of the negro of the United States. Pathos rising to the height of tragedy, humor, the idyl, lie here side by side, waiting only for the hand that is capable of shaping them artistically.
Curiously enough, the painters of America have so far given comparatively but little attention to this element, although there have been some notable exceptions. Mr. Eastman Johnson's "Old Kentucky Home," Mr. Winslow Homer's "Sunday Morning in Virginia," will be remembered by all who have seen them, and there are several among the younger painters of America, such as Mr. Hovenden, Mr. Kappes, and Mr. Brooke, who seem to be inclined to make a specialty of negro life. Nor will Mr. Wood's name be forgotten when this subject is mentioned.
The painting which Mr. Wood has here reproduced with his own hand was one of the popular successes at an exhibition of the National Academy some years ago, and forms at present part of the collection of Mr. Thomas B. Clarke, of New York City. The figure of the old colored man, possibly an exhorter in a Methodist Church and a "professor" of white-washing, all in one, is most characteristic. In spite of the doleful face which he assumes while counting out his ague drops, there is a slight tinge of humor in the picture, and the multifarious wraps in which the patient seeks comfort—the kerchief about the head, the shawl around the neck, the drapery of the bed-quilt—rather help this impression. But the artist does not see only the comic side of negro life. One of his earlier works was a triple picture, "The Contraband, the Recruit, and the Veteran," showing a negro as a run-away slave—in the dark days when General Butler declared negroes to be contraband of war, before their emancipation had been decided on—as a newly enlisted soldier in the uniform of the United States, and as a discharged veteran, carrying his honors nobly on a crutch.
Thomas Waterman Wood was born in Montpelier, Vermont, in the year 1823, and painted without instruction until he entered the studio of Chester Harding, in Boston, in 1857. He soon afterwards went to Europe, where he remained until i860. After his return he painted portraits for some years in Louisville, Kentucky, and Nashville, Tennessee, and finally settled in the city of New York in 1867. Mr. Wood devotes himself mainly to genre, preferring for his theme, besides the negro subjects already alluded to, the life of the American farmer and mechanic. He is vice-president of the National Academy of Design, president of the American Water Color Society, and member of the New York Etching Club. As an etcher his activity has been limited so far, but it is his intention to ply the needle more frequently in future.
Back to List of Plates


Stephen Parrish

THE town of Gloucester, in the State of Massachusetts, has several claims to renown. It is said to be the most important fishing town in the world, sending out more sail, and bringing in and curing more fish than any of its competitors. Less substantial, but possibly more lasting, is its poetical renown. At the southwestern extremity of its outer harbor lies the reef of Norman's Woe, made famous by Longfellow's ballad:
"Such was the wreck of the Hesperus,
In the midnight and the snow!
Christ save us all from a death like this,
On the reef of Norman's Woe!"

Youngest of all is its artistic reputation. A straggling fishing town, built on the uneven ground of a hillside, badly paved, redolent of drying cod, and filled along its water front with an intricate mass of boat-houses, sail-lofts, and ship-yards, which remind one of the description given by Dickens of the abode used both for business purposes and midnight orgies by the unlovely Mr. Quilp, was not to the taste of the ideally inclined painters of twenty or more years ago. They preferred the loftier themes furnished by the Catskills or the White Mountains, or the more idyllic beauties of Artists' Brook. Had they deigned to notice Gloucester, they might, perhaps, have thought the outer harbor a fit subject, but the inner harbor with its low associations—never!
All this changed, however, with the setting in of the realistic current. William Morris Hunt was a pioneer, here as elsewhere. His sketch of Gloucester Harbor, with its glorious sky effects, is one of his best works, and it is quite fitting that Mr. Parrish should have reproduced it in a large etching. Undoubtedly the influence of Millet induced Hunt to select such scenes. The simple subjects of this peasant painter had taught his American disciple that there is quite as much poetry in the life of the humble toiler, who does his duty without reward, as in that of the popular hero who courts death amid the pyrotechnics of the battlefield, under the eye of an admiring world; and from these poor people themselves it was but a step to their surroundings.
To a person who shares these feelings, Gloucester, with its two harbors, is a most interesting and attractive spot. The outer harbor is used for refuge only by coasting vessels caught in a storm. The inner harbor, frequented by none but fishing vessels and such other craft as minister to the wants of the chief industry of the town—old fashioned Italian barks, for instance, which come in laden with salt from the Mediterranean—is the most perfect basin imaginable, not only for shelter, but also for picturesqueness. Both these qualities are due to the low range of hills which surrounds it on nearly all sides, and on which the town, as before mentioned, is partly built. Mr. Parrish's etching represents a scene on the western margin of the basin, seen at high tide. The spot from which it was taken, somewhat to the south of Five Pound Island, is easily located by means of the tower of the town hall, which looms' up near the centre of the picture. Turn wherever you will, such material is ready to your hand on all sides in the greatest variety, intermingled here and there with rocks and trees, and softened or heightened, as the case may be, by the most wonderful atmospheric effects, It is such as an old Dutchman would have revelled in. No wonder, therefore, that Mr. Parrish should be attracted to the spot year after year.
Our artist was born of Quaker stock, in Philadelphia, on July 9, 1846. His career as a painter dates from the year 1876, up to which time he was engaged in business. His first plate was etched in December, 1879, but since then he has hardly allowed the needle to rest. At the present writing his œuvre consists of eighty-one plates. Mr. Parrish is a member of the New York Etching Club, and of the Society of Painter-Etchers, of London.
Back to List of Plates
Plate missing from Dartmouth copy. Image provided by The Smith College Museum of Art.


Thomas Moran, A.N.A.

"THE 'Tower of Cortes,' " writes Mr. Moran, "is on the road between Vera Cruz and the City of Mexico, near a point called Paso del Macho, on the edge of a deep cañon of lava rock, much overgrown by vegetation peculiar to the Tierra Caliente or Hot Land."
The scene calls up visions of the conquest (whatever may be the age or the origin of the tower), as related by Bernal Diaz del Castillo, one of the true Conquistadores. It might almost serve as an illustration to a passage such as this: "On the next day we arrived at the large town of Cuernabaca, or Coadlavaca, in a very strong situation, on account of a deep ravine caused by a rivulet which runs at the depth of at least forty feet, although there is not much water, and which precluded all access to the town except by two bridges, which the inhabitants had broken upon our approach. Cortes, however, being informed that about half a league higher up was a passage practicable for cavalry, went thither with them, and we all searched for passes, and at length discovered a very dangerous one, over some trees which hung across from the two opposite sides of the ravine. About thirty of us, and many Tlascalans, made our way over, by the help of those trees, with great difficulty. Three fell into the water, and one broke his leg. It was, indeed, a truly frightful attempt. I for a time entirely lost my sight, from the depth and danger." The boldness of the artist's execution well fits the spirit of the scene, and one is inclined, almost, to see a reflection of the unnaturally dazzling splendor which surrounds the bloody romance of the conquest, in the fanciful lighting he has adopted.
Mr. Moran was one of the first to explore the West and Southwest of the United States with a view to their artistic possibilities. The great Yellowstone region, which he visited several times, as a member of exploring expeditions sent out by the United States Government, had special attractions for him, and he has represented its strange formations and gorgeous coloring in a large number of oil paintings and water-color drawings, some of which were published in chromolithographic facsimile, with text by Prof. Hayden. New Mexico, also, furnished material for his brush, his pencil, and his needle. The etching herewith published is one of the results of his first trip to Mexico proper, which he undertook in the spring of the present year (1883). The mine of new subjects which he has thus opened up for the American artist promises to be truly inexhaustible. The only wonder is that it was not utilized before. But there are those, even to this day, who claim that America is not a country for art, and that neither its nature nor its history are capable of inspiring the painter. And yet nowhere is nature more varied, or history more interesting, pictorially as well as intellectually considered, than in America.
Mr. Thomas Moran was born in England in 1837, but was brought to America when only seven years of age. His etched work consists, up to the present, of twenty-four plates. He is a member of the New York Etching Club, the Philadelphia Society of Etchers, the Society of Painter-Etchers of London, and the American Water Color Society, and an associate of the National Academy of Design.
There is hardly a method of artistic expression that Mr. Moran has not essayed with marked success. Among his works there are also several admirable lithographs. It is to be regretted that they are almost unknown, as they were never regularly published.
Back to List of Plates


Joseph Pennell.

PHILADELPHIA has long suffered under the reputation of being a most uninteresting and inartistic place. Its demure Quaker habits, its plain red brick houses with white trimmings, have no doubt done much to create that reputation, and it has been considerably enhanced by the sigh which Dickens heaved there forty years ago, although this sigh concerned only the straight streets of the city. There are a few straight streets in Philadelphia—there is no use denying it! —but there are also some crooked lanes, and roads cutting one another at all sorts of angles, in spite of the fact that the city surveyors did not have the aid of the cows in laying out the streets, as they had in Boston. And as for picturesqueness, such as can be found in quaint old places, out-of-the-way nooks, and tumble-down shanties, one need only look over Mr. Pennell's etchings to be convinced that there is no lack in, Philadelphia of that sort of poetry. But it is a poetry that does not appeal to everybody, at least not in nature. You may admire "Momie Sauerkraut's Row," or "The Plow Inn Yard," or the confusion at the foot of the bridges across the Schuylkill in your portfolio, or even in a neat frame on the walls of your sitting-room, but who would put his foot into such low places, if he could help it? Hence we lose much of the picturesque that is always around us, because we cannot sever from these scenes the disagreeable features associated with them. We need the artist to discover them for us, to elevate them into the realm of art, and—thus renovated and purified—they suddenly appear to us in the radiance of a beauty which we would never have been able to see unaided. Mr. Pennell was such a discoverer. A sort of Philadelphian Méryon, he has immortalized the old landmarks and by-ways of the town, and by so doing has no doubt astonished many of his fellow-citizens, who never dreamed that such queer places, reminding one of old Dutch pictures, were so near to their firesides.
It would have been desirable to include one of Mr. Pennell's Philadelphia views in this collection, but it was impossible, as in the month of January of the present year (1883), he realized the dream of all young artists, and went to Italy. There is nothing so pleasant to contemplate as the delight of an ardent young soul, and it will not therefore be thought a violation of privacy, if we quote here a few sentences from a letter written by Mr. Pennell shortly after his arrival in Florence: "When am I coming home? Not till I have to—why should I? Everything is here that I love and want to do—and for three weeks I have only 'stood round,' and looked at it, principally in the rain. But lovely weather may now come, and to-morrow I hope to get to work . . . . If I could only live five hundred years and always do decent things now—I feel simply crushed by the amount of material around me." The etching before the reader is one of the first fruits of the artist's Italian labors, and it seems to show that he was not quite crushed after all. It represents the Ponte Vecchio, or Old Bridge, over the Arno, possibly the oldest of the several bridges that span the river, for it is said to date back to the time of the Romans, although repeatedly destroyed and re-erected since. Over it leads the long gallery, hung with drawings of old masters and other art-treasures, which connects the Pitti Palace with the Uffizi and the Palazzo Vecchio, and on it stand the stalls of the goldsmiths, as of old in the sixteenth century—truly an excellent subject for an artist who even in his New World home was always on the lookout for the old and the time-worn.
Joseph Pennell enjoys the rare distinction of having been born on the Fourth of July—the national holiday of the United States—in the year 1858. Every day of the year can boast of its artistic saint, but not a single one of the masters of the past was born on that day, and it seemed almost as if it were reserved for the birthday of Liberty, until she shared it with this young son of hers. Mr. Pennell is not known as a painter so far, as up to the present he has confined his attention principally to drawing for illustration and to etching. He is a member of the Philadelphia Society of Etchers, the New York Etching Club, and the Society of Painter-Etchers of London.
Back to List of Plates


F. S. Church, A. N. A.

THE Lion in Love is a subject that has often been treated pictorially. In a version by some English artist, which was quite popular not long ago, the lion is personified by an old general who is trying to thread a needle for a young lady. The charm of Mr. Church's treatment is found in the literalness with which he interprets a fanciful idea, a quality seldom met with in serious art, and yet common to nearly all Mr. Church's productions, whether of the needle or of the brush. Such literal interpretation is very often used as a means of obtaining broadly humorous effects, and it was so used by Mr. Church himself in his earlier efforts as a draughtsman for comic papers. But in his later work it has been refined to such a degree that all its ruder elements have disappeared, while there is still sufficient of it left to impart a delicate flavor of humor to even his most airy creations. The Lion in Love is the theme, also, of a water color, owned by Mr. Louis Prang, of Boston, by whose permission the artist has made use of the motive for our etching. But in the transposition it has undergone considerable change, especially in the landscape accessories and background.
Mr. Church spent the earlier years of his life in mercantile pursuits, in one of the Western cities, and then came to New York. Left almost to his own resources, he nevertheless soon succeeded in making a position for himself, by the originality and quaintness of his conceits and the freshness of his execution. This latter quality is all the more remarkable, as there is hardly an artist who recasts his work as often as he does. M. Paul Leroi, speaking of Mr. Church's etchings in L'Art, characterizes them as "veritable painter's etching, an inspiration rapidly fixed upon the copper in imperishable traits." To those who know how Mr. Church cancels plate after plate, takes out and puts in again parts here and parts there, the apparent freedom of his execution will appear all the more astonishing. But, alas, for the "imperishable" character of his traits! The same spirit of restless dissatisfaction which dictates all these changes, has impelled the artist to "finish" most of his plates with the hatchet, that is, to destroy them utterly in fits of despair, so that of many of them there are only comparatively few impressions in existence.
In view of the ethereal and playful vein which runs through Mr. Church s works, it is decidedly funny to be told that they have struck terror into the heart of France. Yet such is the case. In the article in L'Art, already quoted, M. Paul Leroi, with all the show of short paragraphs spread out over a great space at an immense expense of printer's fat, which is so characteristic of French writers, delivers himself as follows:
"The history—a very short history—of M. Frederick S. Church, is another eloquent argument in support of the Caveant consules, which L'Art has not ceased, these seven years, to repeat to French statesmen. If they really have the true glory of their country at heart, they will no longer put off the formation of a ministry of fine arts.
"There is, indeed, peril in delay.
"If it had been foretold some years ago—only a few years!—that Paris would abound, not only with English warehouses, but that any number of branches of American houses would be erected there for the purpose of squarely contesting on artistic ground, with the French goldsmiths and jewelers, for instance, Ian immense shout of laughter—from one end of the boulevards to the other—would have been the only response to this foolish prophecy.
"That, which then would have passed for insanity, is to-day an indisputable truth.
"Take a walk, even along the Avenue de l'Opera only, and to the right and to the left you will meet with the United States as a successful competitor in the lists.
"It is with the aid of men of the temperament and of the sincere originality of M. Church that such improbable, and yet but too real victories are achieved.
"Paris finds it a duty, therefore, to defend itself, and upon its own ground.
"Enough of deceptive confidence! Enough of ignorant blindness!
"Caveant consules! The hour has more than come this time. To delay still further would be a crime against the country."
Mr. Church is a member of the New York Etching Club, the Philadelphia Society of Etchers, the Society of Painter-Etchers, of London, the American Water Color Society, and the Society of American Artists, and he has lately been elected an Associate of the National Academy of Design.
Back to List of Plates


George H. Smillie, N.A.

EPICURES are a race difficult to understand. They will extract enjoyment from things which, to the ordinary palate, are utterly unenjoyable. The fisherman disdains to eat of the Sheep's-Head, but you will find it on the hotel tables of New York, among other piscatorial delicacies. And as it is with the Epicures of the table, so is it with those of nature. Thoreau, that Epicure of nature par excellence, devotes a whole lecture to "Wild Apples"; delights in their "bow-arrow tang," that puckers your mouth, and cuts through your whole system; goes into ecstacies over the stunted wild apple-tree or the decaying stumps of an abandoned orchard, and finds as much attraction in the bleak hillside on which they grow, as in the mountain scenery sought by the tourist. Only the relations are reversed. You must not look for these Epicures in hotels or palaces. They are more likely to live in a cabin in the woods,' or in a fisherman's hut.
Mr. Smillie had Thoreau in mind when he etched his plate. "As for those [apples] I speak of," says the poet-naturalist in the lecture alluded to, " I pluck them as a wild fruit native to this quarter of the earth—fruit of old trees that have been dying ever since I was a boy and are not yet dead, frequented only by the woodpecker and the squirrel, deserted now by the owner, who has not faith enough to look under their boughs. From the appearance of the tree-top, at a little distance, you would expect nothing but lichens to drop from it, but your faith is rewarded by finding the ground strewn with spirited fruit—some of it, perhaps, collected at squirrel-holes, with the marks of their teeth by which they carried them—some containing a cricket or two silently feeding within, and some, especially on damp days, a shelless snail." Elsewhere in the same lecture he speaks of these trees as growing on hillsides and on rocky ground. The figure in our etching might almost pass for Thoreau himself in later years, when, according to Emerson, his face was covered "with a becoming beard." There is something, however, in the listless apathy of the man which does not fit Thoreau's character. He would not have turned over his beloved apple with a stick, while his other hand was in his pocket Whatever he did, filled him completely and claimed all his energy.
The true landscape painter shares these Epicurean tendencies, and the result is that he is often misunderstood. We are accustomed to peaches and pears and grapes—civilized, and reared in the hot-house, maybe—and cannot relish the strange, delicate aroma, or the sharp, stinging flavor of the wild berries and other small fruit fie sometimes offers us. The ordinary lover of Nature sees her in her parlors and in gala dress only. Her true lover—and such must the landscape painter be—sees her in all moods and under all circumstances, and adores her no more when she is gay and communicative than when she is silent and sad. But we others shut ourselves up in our houses meanwhile, and only pay Nature an occasional visit, when we know, that she is ready to receive us. And then our good breeding bids us confine ourselves strictly to the rooms of state, while we never think of such a thing as looking into her back-yard! Perhaps we judge by our own back-yards, and thus are the losers. For even the waste places of Nature are beautiful—as are some back-yards. There is a charm in the lonely expansiveness of an almost bare hillside, an elementariness, which seems to bring us into closer communion with the very spirit of nature than scenes of greater variety. It is this precisely that makes such apparently simple themes so difficult for the artists, so unattractive to the many. For it will not do to see or to paint simply the ground, and the stones, and the trees. You must be moved by, and must reproduce the spirit of the scene, and only a lover can do that.
Mr. George H. Smillie was born in New York, in 1840, of artistic stock, his father being Mr. James Smillie, the engraver, and one of his brothers Mr. James D. Smillie, the painter. His wife is also an artist. Mr. Smillie is a National Academician, and a member of the American Water Color Society, the New York Etching Club, and the Philadelphia Society of Etchers. His etched work so far does not exceed three or four plates, and of these the "Old New England Orchard" is the most important.
Back to List of Plates


MRS. M. Nimmo Moran.

MRS. MORAN'S luminous etching was inspired by the refrain of an old Scotch song, which runs as follows:
Come all ye jolly shepherds
That whistle thro' the glen,
I'll tell you o' a secret
That courtiers dinna ken.
What is the greatest bliss
That the tongue o' man can name?
'Tis to woo a bonnie lassie
When the kye come hame,
When the kye come hame,
'Tween the gloamin' and the mirk,
When the kye come hame.

'Tis not beneath the burgonet,
Nor yet beneath the crown,
'Tis not on a couch of velvet,
Nor yet on a bed of down;
'Tis beneath the spreading birch,
In the dell without a name,
Wi' a bonnie, bonnie lassie,
When the kye come hame, etc.

Then the eye shines sae brightly,
The hale soul to beguile,
There's love in ev'ry whisper,
And joy in ev'ry smile.
O! wha would choose a crown,
Wi' its perils and its fame,
And miss a bonnie lassie,
When the kye come hame, etc.

See yonder pawky shepherd
That lingers on the hill,
His yowes are in the fauld,
And his lambs are lying still.
But he downa gang to rest,
For his heart is in a flame
To meet his bonnie lassie,'
When the kye come hame, etc.

Awa wi' fame and fortune—
What comfort can they gie?
And a' the arts that prey
Upon mart's life and libertie!
Gie me the highest joy
That the heart of man can frame,
My bonnie, bonnie lassie,
When the kye come hame,
When the kye come hame,
'Tween the gloamin' and the mirk,
When kye come hame.

The motive of the etching was supplied by the scenery of Long Island, where Mrs. Moran usually spends her summers with her husband, Mr. Thomas Moran. Like him, she prefers to give effect to her plates with the rocker or the roulette—the latter in the present case—rather than depend entirely upon the line.
Mrs. M. Nimmo Moran was born in Strathavon, near Glasgow, Scotland, and came to the United States when a child. Her artistic training is entirely due to her husband, and there is a remarkable similarity, both in spirit and in the bold facility of handling, in the work of the two. Curiously enough, the number of plates executed by each is also the same, namely, twenty-four. Mrs. Moran is a member of the New York Etching Club and of the Society of Painter-Etchers, of London.
Back to List of Plates


J. Foxcroft Cole.

THE oldest pictorial art, that is to say the oldest art we know of, which dealt with the reproduction of natural forms, as distinguished from purely ornamental or decorative art, chose its subjects from the animal kingdom; or in other words, the earliest painters and sculptors were animal painters and sculptors. The most primitive works of art, although not the first in point of time, are the figures of reindeer, etc., scratched upon bones by pre-historic northern races, and the forms which appear among the geometrical patterns of the oldest Greek vases are principally animal forms. With the advance, however, of civilization and art,'other' subjects were deemed more worthy—the gods and man—and representations of the brute creation were admitted merely as accessories. It is only at a much later time that the animal appears again as a subject of delineation for its own sake, in antiquity among the paintings of Pompeii, for instance, but more especially in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when the Dutch artists abandoned the "great art" which dealt with religious themes only, and began to cultivate the so-called lower branches, such as landscape, genre, and still-life. We thus find the same subject at the two ends of a chain of development; and if any one were tempted to maintain that this return to the starting point betokened the end of the race, a final exhaustion. of powers, or a second childhood, outward appearances might almost be said to support such a conclusion.
There is, however, a vast difference, not only in the means of execution, which is evident to the least observant, but also in the intellectual conditions which underlie these two phases of art. No doubt the primitive manifestations we have spoken of are due, next to the desire of adornment innate in man, to his love of imitation. But neither of these is sufficient to explain the art of the animal painter of modern times. The notion that art consists of imitation has been exploded long ago, and it needs only a look at some modern creations, which resemble nothing to be met with in heaven or on earth, and yet find admirers, to be convinced of the truth of this judgment. On the contrary, instead of imitation, it is invention that is the soul of art, the creation of conditions which do not actually exist, or their semblance, in short the embodiment of some ideal. But what has this to do with cows and oxen? The question is natural enough, for it is oftentimes difficult to detect the ideal in the Protean shapes which it assumes, and least of all is this faculty given to the soi-disant idealist, who acknowledges only the one ideal which he has set up for himself, or which—and that is the more likely—he has been bred up to from infancy, and which he accepts without questioning. It is precisely the reaction against this sort of idealism which prevails upon mankind to seek refuge in more mundane spheres. There is a Greek legend, well worn by this time, but specially applicable here, of the giant Antaeus, who gained renewed strength whenever he touched the earth, so that Hercules could conquer him only by lifting him from the ground, and holding him aloft in the air. It is thus with mankind. From its airy flights, which severely test its strength, it must occasionally rest upon earth, from its unnatural conditions of living it must now and then return to the bosom of mother nature to restore its wasted powers. But as we cannot do this in reality, as we find it difficult to adapt our old notions to new ways of living, as we cannot at once abandon the city for the country, the counting-house, the lobby of the legislature, and the ball-room, for the forest, the grain-field, and the milking-stool, art steps in, and with its magic wand realizes at least the semblance of the conditions we long for. It is in these times, also, that art, recuperates, and gathers strength for new triumphs. For these are the times of realism, and realism is the sire through whose conscientious labors the precious inheritance is gathered to which the spendthrift son idealism succeeds, only to squander it in blind disdain of the means which alone made his career possible.
J. Foxcroft Cole, the well-known landscape and cattle painter of Boston, was born in the town of Jay, Me., November 9, 1837. He began life as a lithographer, but soon took to painting, and went to France, where he was influenced by Jacque. He has executed a number of lithographs from paintings of his own. His first etching was made in 1866. From that time he allowed the needle to rest until about three years ago, since which time he has produced eleven plates.
Mr. Cole is a member of the Society of American Artists.
Back to List of Plates


Chas. A. Platt.

IT is impossible to hear the Thames mentioned in connection with etching without thinking of Mr. Whistler, the American, who first made the old English river artistically famous outside the narrow bounds of the British islands. And still more interesting is it to think of the development which etching has taken since Mr. Whistler's famous plates were first published. These etchings were then looked upon by many persons as the very acme of artistic abandon, beyond which nothing could possibly go in the same direction. But compared with Mr. Whistler's latest impressionistic renderings of Venetian scenery, these earlier productions of his needle now appear almost as the embodiment of sobriety and methodical treatment. And yet we acknowledge that there is a fascinating suggestiveness in these plates which a more deliberate method might have failed to attain. All of which goes to show the recklessness of the assertion that art, or anything else, at some given moment, has "spoken its last word." We have not yet exhausted all possibilities, for they are endless. So, even out of the study of this minor art of etching, as it has been called—without warrant it seems to us—we may draw courage to bear up under the dark prophecies of the bilious croakers who would have us believe that all that is good is in the past, and all that is bad in the future.
Mr. Platt, like Mr. Pennell, made his first trip to Europe the present year, and the plate herewith published is one of the first executed by him on the other side. In answer to an inquiry as to the location of the scene, he writes from Dordrecht, in Holland, that it is somewhere near Woolwich. "The character of the river," he continues, "is much the same all along there, very broad, with the shores perfectly flat. The charm is in the stranded barges and the old houses. One finds a composition at every turn. I was in London only a short time, so I only went there this once. But it is a capital place for a painter or an etcher."
Charles A. Platt was born in the city of New York on October 16, 1861, and began the study of art in 1879, drawing at the schools in winter, and practising landscape from nature in summer. His first etching was executed in December, 1880. The number in the upper left hand corner of our plate, which shows it to be opus 44, may be taken as an indication of his passionate zeal as an etcher. Mr. Platt belongs to the two leading organizations of the country which are devoted to the cultivation of etching—the New York Etching Club and the Philadelphia Society of Etchers. He is also a member of the Painter-Etchers' Society of London.
Young as he is, our artist—guided, perhaps, by his friend and in a measure teacher, Mr. Stephen Parrish—was among the first to see the pictorial capabilities and attractions of shore and harbor scenery, with its confluences of swelling and rigid lines, and its marvellous effects of light and atmosphere. This is all the more noticeable, as he belongs to the same family of which Seth W. Cheney was a member. The fact is of special interest to those who like to follow the changes in the minds of men as expressed in the changes in art. Its significance was pointed out in an article published shortly after the beginning of Mr. Platt's career as an etcher, a quotation from which may fittingly close this short notice:—"What a difference between the art of the idealist, whose well-known crayon heads are held to be the very embodiment of New England transcendentalism, and that of his young kinsman! It emphasizes once more the tendency towards realism which is so characteristic of our time."
Back to List of Plates

"And drive dull care away."

I. M. Gaugengigl.

THE old English song, a quotation from which—although not quite literally correct—serves as a title for Mr. Gaugengigl's etching, suggests several ways of driving away dull care. Dancing and singing, hunting and drinking, are all mentioned as so many charms to be used in exorcising the grim spectre whose continued presence "will make a young man gray" and "turn an old man to clay." Our lonely cavalier has tried still other methods. The weed having refused solace, he has laid aside his pipe, and now seeks comfort in the tones of his violin. What he has attained is self-forgetfulness, that greatest boon of troubled souls. His eye looks afar off into space, his ear listens to the strains of his own music, unconscious of their origin, and his mind wanders in distant realms of bliss—perhaps among the scenes of his youth, long since forgotten, and now called up before the inner eye with marvellous clearness, or in the dim regions of an ideal future, ever to be wished for, and never to be realized! Such is the power of music, most potent of all charms, to drive dull care away and lift us out of ourselves and our daily surroundings.
Ignaz Marcel Gaugengigl does not sound very much like a native American name, unless some one should be tempted to take it for aboriginal Indian. It is thoroughly German, and more particularly typical of Bavaria. Mr. Gaugengigl was born at Passau, on January 16, 1855. He studied art in Munich, where he sat on the benches of the academy alongside some of the well-known American artists of to-day, such as Walter Shirlaw and Frederick Dielman, and came to America in 1878. Despite his short residence in the country, Mr. Gaugengigl may nevertheless call himself an American artist, and is generally so regarded. His reputation was made here—made with wonderful rapidity, too, and in a place so difficult for the making of reputations as Boston—and as an etcher, he is entirely American, as he never employed the point until after his arrival in the United States. In his paintings he has so far confined himself to small size canvases, generally with but one or two figures in the costume of the seventeenth century, as in the etching herewith published, or more frequently in that of the eighteenth—Incroyables, Jeunesse Dorée, or men and women in the pseudo-classical habit of the Directory and the Consulate. The attractiveness and popularity of these brilliant little creations received a curious illustration in the year 1880, when the artist held a special exhibition at the gallery of Messrs. Noyes and Blakeslee. One of the pictures, "The Exile," a gentleman dressed in white, studying the map of France, which is hung up on the wall over a cabinet, was stolen from this exhibition, and all efforts to recover it have so far been unsuccessful. Of etchings, the artist has finished only seven up to date, and some of these are small plates of an experimental character.
The position occupied by Mr. Gaugengigl invites to meditation Here is a young German of the nineteenth century, painting the Frenchmen of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in America. Other signs of the times may be registered that point in the same direction. Richard Parkes Bonington, to go back to the . early part of the century, an Englishman, plays an important part in the history of modern French art, and counts with the French school. Legros, the Frenchman, Alma-Tadema, the Hollander, Hubert Herkomer, born in Germany, are looked upon as Englishmen; David Neal, the American, is thoroughly domesticated in Munich; Whistler in London; Bridgeman, Sargent, Pearce, Boggs, and a host of other Americans, in Paris. Such facts speak loudly for the cosmopolitan tendencies of art, which a French writer, M. Ernest Chesneau, bewailed not long ago as signs of decadence. An optimist might interpret them differently. May not art gain in breadth as the brotherhood of man expands and the accidental barriers break down, which narrowness and prejudice have so long upheld? There is nothing like putting the best construction on everything.
Back to List of Plates


Kruseman Van Elten, N.A.

HOW can we explain the mysterious attraction which mills, and more especially water mills, always have had, and still have, for poets and artists? We Americans of the present day can hardly understand this feeling, for we send our grain to the cities "in bulk" by railway, store it in gigantic elevators, and finally have it ground up in steam mills, after it has served an unholy purpose in the hands of gamblers and experts in corners. There is no poetry in that. Things were different when the farmer loaded the sacks, filled with a small crop of his own raising, on the backs of his donkeys, drove them to the mill himself, and in due time received sweet flour in return. And how did the mill of those times differ from that which most of us are accustomed to, or—to speak more truthfully—about which most of us know nothing whatever! It was situated, perhaps, in a clearing made in the primeval forest, by the side of a babbling brook, in that case with an undershot wheel, or near the foot-hills of some mountain range, where a descending torrent, conducted to it in a long shoot, communicated its. power to an overshot wheel. The isolated position of the mill, the unearthly noise of the rude machinery, the importance and antiquity of the miller's calling, all these, no doubt, contributed to the feelings of weirdness and awe stirred up by the scene, and as these feelings act as a powerful stimulus upon the imagination, the awakening of the poetical faculty at sight of such a mill seems easy enough of explanation. Add to this the presence of water, that most poetical of all elements, with its nixes, elves, and other sprites—some jovial and luck-bringing, some malignant and fateful—and you have the whole list of the properties that are needed for the background of a romantic tale, either of ghosts or of lovers. With the German poets especially the mill and those who inhabit it are a favorite theme. Numberless are the verses that have been inspired by "the miller's beautiful daughter," real or imagined, and the subject is as popular with the authors and composers of folk-songs as with the poets and musicians moving in more distinguished society. There is the favorite song by Eichendorff, the tune by
Glück, "In einem kühlen Grunde, da geht ein Mühlenrad" (Down in a shady valley, a mill wheel turns about), and Wilhelm Müller's series, "Die schöne Müllerin" (The beautiful Miller), set to music by Franz Schubert. Goethe, also, in his younger days, sang of the treason and the repentance of the miller's daughter, and it must needs be "the miller's boy and his betroth'd," sitting under the linden tree that grows upon the grave of the lovers, whose sad fate Heine mourns in his "Tragedy" best known as the text of Mendelssohn's music.
But this poetical mill of our fathers is well nigh a thing of the past. Some few of us, who were born in Europe, or in a quiet country district, fortunately protected in a measure against the ravages' of civilization by its distance from the great highways, may still remember it. By far the majority of the present generation of men and women, if they have seen it at all, have seen it only lifeless and deserted. We may sigh with Eliza Cook:—
The mill is in ruins. No welcoming sound
In the mastiff's gruff bark and the wheel's turning round;
The house, too, untenanted—left to decay—.
And the miller long dead—

Let us hope that we have no cause to join in the closing sentence of the verse :—
All I loved pass'd away!

As Mr. Kruseman Van Elten is of Germanic descent—he was born in Holland in 1829, and came to the United States when he was thirty-six years of age—his choice of subject is quite appropriate, and keeps up in the New World the traditions which came down to him from his artistic predecessors, such as Jacob Ruysdael, in the Old. Mr. Van Elten is a National Academician, and a member of the American Water Color Society, the New York Etching Club, and the Society of Painter-Etchers, of London. Although his career as an etcher dates,-only from October, 1879, he has already produced twenty-six plates, not, counting several " failures " which he prefers to disown. At the International Exposition lately held at Amsterdam he was awarded a medal for the etchings exhibited by him.
Back to List of Plates
Plate missing from Dartmouth copy. Image provided by The Smith College Museum of Art.


Peter Moran.

MR. MORAN'S etching introduces us to a phase of life in America which is even more picturesque and more full of artistic possibilities than the life of the American Negro. And, strange to say, it has been even more neglected than the latter by our painters. Our young men, following in this, as in sq many other things, the lead of the French artists, go off to Egypt, and Stony Araby, and the Desert, to study and paint the Bedouin, while they neglect the Indian who is almost at their door. Here, upon the table-lands and in the canons of New Mexico, is all the color they need, all the glaring sunlight, all the romance of wild life, and—for that matter—all the dirt and squalor of the Orient. Added to these, however, are other attractions which we look for in vain elsewhere—a type of semibarbarism altogether sui generis, a method of living differing from all other methods, and traditions, fascinating and mysterious, which still await the unravelling of the historian, ever tempting new investigators, and as often baffling them.
The Pueblo Indians, having reached the sedentary state by their own spon-taneous evolution, are of all the present aboriginal inhabitants of America the most civilized, and stand nearer to the highly cultivated tribes which occupied the valley of Mexico at the time of the conquest, than any other. The injection of Spanish blood, the mixture of Spanish and Indian life, of the Catholic religion and heathen superstitions, characteristic of these regions, have augmented rather than diminished their picturesqueness. The expeditions of the early conquerors, Coronado and the rest of them, the antiquity of the Spanish settlements, the ready mingling of the conquered and the conquering, here bind the past to the present in apparently unbroken succession. The Indian did not disappear to make room for the white man, he did not retreat into the wilderness and sink back into savagery, nor, on the other hand, did he lose his individuality. All this was clearly demonstrated in the imposing pageants with which, not long ago, the three hundred and thirty-third settlement of Santa Fé by the Spaniards was celebrated, in which the Indian, the Spaniard and the ubiquitous, Yankee participated on equal terms. Great interest has always been felt by scientific investigators in these sedentary Indians and their extensive and curious communal houses, commonly known, by the designation applied to them by the Spaniards, as "pueblos. Special attention has, however, been given them of late years, and the writings of Mr. Louis H. Morgan, and, still more recently, the researches made by Mr. A. F. Bandelier, under the auspices of the American Institute of Archaeology, have done much to advance their study. A more popular interest was given to the subject by the pilgrimage of the Zuñi Indians to the East, in search of the waters of "the Ocean of Sunrise," and the various magazine articles which it called forth.
Our harvest scene is located near San Juan, thirty-five miles north of Santa Fé, on the Rio Grande del Norte. One of the peculiarities of the Indian pueblo which looms up in the distance to the right, is that it is built entirely of adobes, or sun-dried bricks. The Indians use horses instead of oxen to thresh their wheat, and they are just driving them into the threshing circle indicated by the upright poles. The ground occupied by the horses is the cleaning floor, the raised ground which forms part of a circle in the foreground, is the earth banked up in levelling the floor, and the refuse of several years' threshing.
Peter Moran was born in Bolton, Lancashire, England, in 1842, and came to America when a child. He has his home in Philadelphia. Like his brother Thomas, he was a pioneer in the artistic exploration of the South-west of the United States, and among his later etchings there are quite a number illustrative of the scenery and the people of New Mexico His activity as an etcher dates from the year 1874, since which time he executed about sixty plates. Many of these are devoted to the delineation of animal life, of which the artist makes a specialty. Mr. Moran is the president of the Philadelphia Society of Etchers, and a member the New York Etching Club.
Back to List of Plates


Samuel Colman, N. A.

FAIR Venice!
"She looks a sea Cybele, fresh from ocean,
Rising with her tiara of proud towers
At airy distance, with majestic motion,
A ruler of the waters and their powers."

It is not merely a hankering after the flesh-pots of Egypt which induces so many American artists to leave their native "western wilds," for a time at least, and turn with longing towards the historical sites and cities of Europe. No doubt the independence of American art has suffered, and its development in the direction of originality and individuality has been retarded by this tendency. But it is the unavoidable an perhaps healthy retardation of the child under the guidance of its parents, or of the pupil influenced by the master. That influence, provided it is not unyielding, is benignant, and will not hinder the child or pupil from unfolding a character all his own, as soon as it is withdrawn. Thus the works of the youthful Raphael can hardly be told from those of his master Perugino, in spite of the fact that they already hold the germ of coming greatness. And so it is with us. Are we not the children of our mother across the sea? And tho' we may sometimes rail at her, and tho' our eyes may not be closed to her faults, we still love her, and will not and cannot forget her.
But there is yet another reason which makes it impossible for us, and, indeed, for modern man in general, to present a well specialized character. To the Jew all outsiders were Gentiles, unclean and to be shunned; to the Greek the rest of the world was peopled by barbarians. Under such circumstances, it is easy to be original, and to preserve your own individuality. "I" am the type and pattern of all men, hence why should "I" be influenced by them? Nationalism was the creed of those times, and it followed that art was national. The position which the men of Antiquity, of the Middle Ages, and of the Renaissance assumed towards the art productions of the past is likewise to be noted. The Egyptian Pharaoh, without the least compunction, not only threw down the monuments of his enemies, but even appropriated those of his predecessors to his own glory, by replacing the cartouches of former kings by his own. The Greeks, whether they received their art from Egypt, from Assyria, or from Asia Minor, did not for this reason adhere to the style of their teachers. The collecting of ancient works of art, and the reprehensible fashion of imitating them, did not become the rage until the period of decadence. There is more than one Greek legend that, in the early days of vigorous development, the old idols of the gods were laughed at, much to the disgust of the priests. The Gothic architects had little respect for the works of their Romanesque precursors, and they in turn were derided by the Renaissance artists, who invented the name Gothic as a term of reproach. All these men believed in their own powers, and were proud of their own achievements, and hence—whatever else they may have lacked—developed a distinct personality. But the growing knowledge of mankind makes such youthful conceit impossible. Having learned to look upon ourselves as links in a chain of development, to be succeeded by others, we have learned also to reverence the past out of which we grew. The result is a disadvantage:—We are hampered—yes, hampered!—by tradition, and we seek art in the past, rather, and in museums, than in our own lives. It must be our aim to correct this state of affairs, to preserve our reverence for the past, and yet to defend our independence against the claims of tradition, and to free our critical faculty from the thraldom of authority. But whatever we may do, we shall never regain the rude self-assertion of the men of old, even if that were desirable. The past history of mankind, and the places where it was enacted, will therefore remain precious forever, and of all these spots there is none more precious than Venice, although upon its canals

"Tasso's echoes are no more, And silent rows the songless gondolier."

Mr. Samuel Colman, whose exquisitely delicate etching—so different from the many renderings of Venice which we have been accustomed to see of late—called forth these rambling remarks, was born in Portland, Me., in 1832, but resided in New York from an early age, until his removal to Newport, R. I., about a year ago. He is a National Academician, and a member of the American Water Color Society and the New York Etching Club. Mr. Colman has etched about twenty plates thus far, but, like Mr. Church, he has destroyed most of them, and threatens to treat the rest the same way. It is to be hoped that he will not carry out his threat.
Back to List of Plates


Frederick Dielman, N.A.

ITALIAN bootblacks playing "mora," and yet a thoroughly American scene, enacted on a New York sidewalk!
What the island of Cyprus seems to have been in the days of remote antiquity—a meeting place for the nations of the earth—that to the modern world is the New York of to-day. With this difference, however, that the variety of races is greater, the influences mutually exercised are more powerful and lasting, and the results to be attained more momentous. It is no exaggeration to say that there is no other place on the face of the globe in which such a mingling of peoples is to be found as here. Among the educated and wealthy classes the differences soon vanish to a considerable degree, and the assimilation in habits brings with it also a sharing of the same localities for residence. With the uneducated and poorer classes, however, clannishness is a prominent trait, and national characteristics are upheld with more tenacity. We have, therefore, German quarters, French and Italian quarters, Jewish quarters, even a place known as Chinatown, not without its opium joints, and localities in which the Irish squatter reigns supreme. They are not the most savory quarters of the town, these, but full of interest to the student of humanity! And what they are to him, they might be also to the artist. It is a great pity that the Irish settlements on the upper part of Manhattan Island, with their picturesque although squalid shanties, perched on the granite ledges in wild confusion, their attendant pig-styes, and the goats clambering about among them, did not find adequate pictorial treatment before the levelling tendencies of the street commissioner blasted their rocky fastnesses, and endless rows of ugly and monotonous brown stone fronts drove out the cabin and the potato patch. But there is still enough left. He must have dull eyes, indeed, who can take a half hour's walk along Broadway, where Europe, Asia, and Africa jostle one another, without seeing sights enough to call up before him all the world. And still more interesting, because more conducive to quiet observation, will the scene become, should the stroller venture to turn aside into less fashionable and less frequented thoroughfares. Here is the Jewish peddler, from Poland or Russia, sometimes still wearing his greasy locks, as in the old country; the Chinaman, clad in snowy white while he is ironing in his laundry, amid flaring fed decorations inscribed with mysterious characters, or more soberly dressed on the street, his Oriental garb supplemented by a Western felt hat, under which the sacredly guarded queue is carefully coiled up; now and then a stream of Italian immigrants, fresh from the vessel, in their uncouth clothing, each with a linen bag on the shoulder, which probably holds all its bearer possesses; occasionally a sprinkling of Hungarians, or even Turks, and still remoter races, in their national costumes, and so on, in kaleidoscopic variety. Here and there isolated specimens of the aborigines are also met with, which, although they are of much rarer occurrence than the foreign types just mentioned, do not fail to exercise a peculiar fascination upon the thoughtful beholder. The writer well remembers meeting an Indian couple on Broadway, one dismal November morning, when a dull, cold, drizzling rain was descending. The squaw, still arrayed in savage finery, was wrapped up in a blanket, thrown over her head as a protection against the rain, while her companion was dressed like his white brethren, but wore his straight black hair in shining strands, which hung down upon the shoulders. With a vacant stare they flitted past, leaving a strange impression upon the mind, as of mourning spectres, wandering aimlessly about among the evidences of a civilization that has crushed them out! There is endless material here for the genre painter, and Mr. Dielman deserves thanks for having entered the field.
The painting reproduced in our etching was exhibited at the National Academy last spring, and is now owned by Mr. John Herriman, of New York City. Mora, the game in which these little Italians are engaged, was known already in antiquity. To score in it the contestants must guess the sum of the opened fingers of the two hands as these are suddenly and simultaneously extended by the players, each player calling, or rather shouting, his guess as he throws his hand. To the Italians this simple performance is productive of most intense excitement, which frequently fails to find sufficient vent in gesture and rattling dispute, and culminates in deadly quarrels. The game is in fact prohibited in some parts of Italy.
Frederick Dielman was born in Hannover, Germany, in 1848; came to America in early childhood; studied at the Royal Academy of Munich under Diez, and has lived in New York City since 1876. He is a National Academician, a member of the Society of American Artists, of the American Water Color Society, and of the New York Etching Club, and instructor in perspective in the schools of the National Academy and the Art Students' League.
His etchings are comparatively few in number, the present one being his eighth published plate.
Back to List of Plates


R. Swain Gifford, N.A.

AN intense love of nature, which looks upon nothing belonging to her as unworthy, and leads to a delicacy of observation hitherto unrivalled, is the most marked characteristic of modern life in all its departments. This being the case, it is easy to see why it is impossible for us to put up any longer with academic traditions. To the academic artist art is a language with a fixed grammar, which can be learned at school, and—once acquired—can be applied without much further ado to the expression of the ideas bred from his brain. As language provides a number of signs for the expression of thought, in the shape of words, so does art provide a number of symbols, which merely need to be combined for the same purpose. Study the human body, so that you may be able to draw it with conventional correctness; but that done do not concern yourself any more about it. For it is not the body for its own sake that you are henceforth to represent. You are to employ it rather as a means of making visible the idea, which is supernatural. Models can, therefore, be dispensed with, and, looked at from this point of view, the feelings of the old artist are readily understood, who spoke with contempt of his younger brethren as tyros, because they "could not even paint a boot without a model."
The artist of to-day travels along a less easy road. While the idealist of the brush or chisel can in a measure dispense with the refinements of technique, in the certainty that the reflections awakened by his work will suffice to interest his public, to the true realist technique is of the utmost importance, although by no means everything. Technique lost in self-admiration leads to ruin. It fulfils its proper functions only when it is used as a means of interpreting nature in its intimate relations to modern man, and as it reflects or calls forth the emotions of his soul. Its task is not its own display, but the representation of the ideality of reality, if we may be pardoned this apparent paradox. The modern artist is therefore compelled to be a student all his lifetime, and painting from nature becomes to him a necessity, the neglect of which is sure to bring with it its own penalty. To the landscape painter this applies even more forcibly than to the figure painter, for while the latter can regulate his light, and otherwise simplify and fix the conditions under which his work is executed, the former is almost entirely at the mercy of nature in this respect. And indeed a great part of the charm of his task lies in the study of these fleeting and fitful conditions. It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that many of the best modern landscape painters should have confined themselves to a narrowly circumscribed territory, often of the simplest aspect, studying it with passionate care, and returning to it ever and anon to master it in its different phases as influenced by the seasons, the hours of the day, or the atmosphere. Thus we have Rousseau and Diaz, and the other painters of the forest of Fontainebleau. To the mass of the people their art is incomprehensible, as it can be appreciated to its full extent by those only who delight in nature with the same fervent ardor that inspired the artist. It is eminently high art, although in a sense very different from that which ordinarily attaches to these words.
Among Americans, Mr. Gifford is a prominent example of this group of artists. He has, indeed, given us in his' pictures reminiscences of Egypt, Italy, France, and Holland, from sketches collected during his travels, but from these digressions he always returns to his native scenery along the shore of Buzzard's Bay, and his best work has been inspired by motives in its vicinity which ordinary observers would be tempted to call bald. The subject of our etching is the mouth of the Apponigansett River, in the township of Dartmouth, Mass. The current is rapid and the channel deep, attracting sea-bass and blue-fish, as well as all the other fish found along the coast, so that in times gone by the place was a famous Indian fishing resort. The long low structures seen in the middle distance are the Padanaram salt works, constructed, with others in the neighborhood, during the war of 1812. They are at present very much dilapidated, and are about the only salt works of this primitive character remaining on the coast. A nearer view of these works forms the subject of one of the artist's earlier and most important plates.
Robert Swain Gifford was born on the island of Naushon, in Buzzard's Bay, on December 23, 1840. His first master in art was Albert Van Beest, a Dutch marine painter, who died in New York some years ago. Mr. Gifford is a National Academician, and belongs to the Society of American Artists, the American Water Color Society, the New York Etching Club, the Philadelphia Society of Etchers, and the London Painter-Etchers' Society. He has so far published about thirty-five etchings.
Back to List of Plates


M. F. H. De Haas, N.A.

A GERMAN philosopher has said that the subjective element in a work of art is simply the base peculiarity by the admixture of which its indwelling spirit is contaminated. In other words, as, according to this doctrine, it is the office of art to give tangible shape to the absolute, the individuality of the artist, in so far as it is made apparent in his creation, manifests itself as the outward sign of that mortal, human weakness which prevents him from revealing the truth in its unalloyed radiance. It follows from this that the pure work of art is impersonal, and that all individual styles are merely so many ear-marks of the imp of darkness, which he has turned down in the artists to designate those parts of their natures to which he lays claim. Instead of admiring, therefore, the special charms of the style of Rembrandt, of Rubens, or of Velasquez, or even of Raphael, we ought to mourn them as a falling away from grace; and the earnest endeavor of the artist who aspires to the highest glory ought to be to cast out this personal element as he would an evil spirit.
Without stopping to inquire into the validity of this doctrine, to ascertain what there may be in it of a kernel of truth, or to picture the results that would follow its universal adoption, we may unhesitatingly affirm that, if there ever was or ever will be a time capable of appreciating it, that time is certainly not ours. What we value above all else—rightly or wrongly—is personality, individuality, that is to say, the subjective element. "I endeavor to make the expression of my emotion intense and personal," so M. Bastien-Lepage was lately reported to have said in an interview with a newspaper correspondent, "for I do not think artists should leave the interpretation of their works to others. Their meaning should be clearly and strongly shown, and they should have the artist's individuality stamped on them, as great works always have, I believe." That is thoroughly modern doctrine, diametrically opposed to the law as laid down by our philosopher. We even carry it farther than M. Lepage seems willing to admit. For we are so much possessed by the fear of losing something of the personal element in the process of clearly and strongly defining, that we are quite willing to accept the merest sketch as more likely to show the artist in his true nature off his guard, and in his privacy, so to speak—than a work that has been carefully prepared for the public eye. This is the reason, also, why everything has value to-day that comes from the hand of an artist, provided he be of sufficient merit to attract attention, and why painter's-etching—the artist's own work, that is to say—is thought of so much more highly than engraving, which, however skilfully done, is the work of an interpreter. Viewed in this light, Mr. de Haas's etching, slight and sketchy as it may be, and even without considering its intrinsic merits, to do which the rule laid down in our introduction forbids, at once assumes its proper irhportance. And the interest attaching to it is considerably increased from the knowledge of the fact that the artist here shows himself to the public for the first time as an etcher.
Scheveningen, the celebrated fishing village and bathing place, situated on the coast of the North Sea, in the immediate vicinity of the Hague, has been a favorite hunting-ground of the Dutch marine painters for several centuries. Of late years its beach, studded with old-fashioned hulks, the build of which, with their masts leaning forward, differs so markedly from that of our own rakish craft, has become a powerful point of attraction also for the painters of other nationalities, including many Americans. To Mr. de Haas, however, it was not a strange field, as he is a native of Holland.
Maurits Frederik Hendrik de Haas was born at Rotterdam, on December 12, 1832. Having studied with Louis Meyer, at the Hague, he was appointed to the navy, with the nominal rank of lieutenant, not as an active combatant, but simply for the purpose of giving him an opportunity to pursue his studies to greater advantage. In 1859 he resigned his position and came to America, where he took up his abode in New York. He is a National Academician and a member of the American Water Color Society. It is to be hoped that the etching from his hand herewith published will soon be followed by others.
Back to List of Plates


Jas. D. Smillie, N.A.

THE characteristic variety and beauty of the New England coast is well exemplified by the two etchings contributed to this collection by Mr. R. Swain Gifford and Mr. Jas. D. Smillie respectively. In the one we have its more quiet, more intimate aspect,—flat, simple, fit theatre of action for the elementary occupations of mankind, the horizon shut in by the evidences of a contracted civilization which contents itself with scanty means of livelihood; the other the savage aspect,—rocky, inhospitable, with a boundless perspective set with shrubs and bushes, which, like

"Katahdin's cedar trees Are dwarfed and bent by northern winds,"

but very picturesque, and of a grand simplicity of line that gives to the scene something of a feeling betrayed in the landscapes of the old masters. And the lighting which the two artists have chosen is perfectly in harmony with the spirit of the scenes portrayed,—the one subdued, with the rays of the sun filtering through a thin gray veil of clouds; the other strong in contrasts of light and shade on the land, portentous of storm in the sky.
One is almost inclined to think that Mr. Smillie has allowed the artist's love of composition to interfere with the facts of nature in his etching. This is not so, however, as it presents very nearly a literal view of the southern point of Marblehead Neck. The only liberty he has taken is observable in the headland which is thrown out toward the sea like a flying buttress on the left of the picture, and which he has connected with the main land, while it is, in fact, the southern end of Tinker's Island. But even this is not a great sin against truth, as the water is often so low at this point that one could almost reach the island by jumping across the narrow channels between the rocks left uncovered by the receding tide.
The city of Marblehead, on Massachusetts Bay, from which the Neck takes its name, somewhat to the south of Gloucester, the scene of Mr. Parrish s etching, is charmingly situated on a jutting promontory, and its boldly characteristic profile has tempted many an artist to draw or paint it. Although it has a good harbor, it cannot rival Gloucester as a fishing town, being better known as a "shoe town," from the number of shoe factories it contains. Its poetical renown, however, is even greater than that of its neighbor, as it is the scene of one of the most popular ballads of John Greenleaf Whittier, that truest American poet, in the best sense of the word, among the bards of the New World.
"Of all the rides since the birth of time,
Told in story or sung in rhyme,—
On Apuleius's Golden Ass,
Or one-eyed Calendar's horse of brass,
Witch astride a human back,
Islam's prophet on Al-Borák,—
The strangest ride that ever was sped
Was Ireson's, out from Marblehead."

Little did the cruel captain dream, when he bade his drowning towns-people "sink or swim," that he would become the hero of a poem destined to outlive the fame of many more worthy than he! Yet as long as men will enjoy the natural beauties of his native town and its vicinity, they will think also of
"The hoarse refrain:
Here's Flud Oirson, fur his horrd horrt,
Torr'd an' futherr'd an' corr'd in a corrt
By the women o' Morble'ead!"

James D. Smillie was born in the city of New York, in 1833, and inherited his artistic tendencies from his father, the well-known engraver. Like the latter, the son also wielded the burin, acquiring great skill therein, until he abandoned it for the brush in 1864. He is a National Academician, and belongs to the American Water Color Society, of which he was the first treasurer, the New York; Etching Club, the Philadelphia Society of Etchers, and the Society of Painter-Etchers of London. Mr. Smillie's name will always be closely connected with the history of etching in America, if it were possible even to forget the work he has done in that direction, as the organization, in 1877, of the New York Etching Club, which did more than anything else to foster the love and appreciation of the art in the United States, was due to his efforts, in conjunction with those of Dr. L. M. Yale. It will be seen that our plate is marked No. 25. But since it was made the artist has increased his œuvre by several additions.
Back to List of Plates


J. C. Nicoll, A.N.A.

THE time for the poetry of crime pure and simple, of royal murderers, robbers, brigands, and other similarly unclean gentry, together with that for the poetry of the supernatural and of magic, is happily past. Italian duchesses who deal largely in ratsbane are no longer stock figures; in young ladies' hovels, and although Byron's "Corsair" and Scott's "Bridal of Triermain" still stand upon our book-shelves, the hold which they and their companion tales keep upon the regard of mankind, is a succès d'estime rather than a sincere tribute of our hearts and understandings. The Conrads, the Medoras, and the Gulnares are seen no more as frontispieces in annuals, or as the heroes and heroines of popular paintings; and if their modern successors are sometimes welcomed as useful material by the artist, it is more for their picturesque exterior than for the false sentimentality thrown over them by the sickly imagination of the poets, and brought into the boldest relief by the dark and blood-stained backgrounds upon which the pictures of their softer passions are painted. The contrabandists of Jules Worms are of this modern sort, while the brigands Horace Vernet used to paint, or such pictures as Hübner's "The Poacher's Return," are more akin—even if only remotely so—to the blood-and-thunder romances of our predecessors. As an example of the supernatural in art, combined with the terrible fascination of crime, we may cite Washington Allston's "Spalatio's Vision of the Bloody Hand," once much admired, to-day, let us hope, impossible.
But it is nevertheless true that we still crave the blood-curdling element, if not as a nourishment at least as a spice. We esteem it highly, mixed up with our fun and humor, in such extravaganzas, for instance, as "Le Petit Corsair, or "The Pirates of Penzance"; and although we may claim that we admire Shakespeare principally as the deep analyst of the human soul, it is quite evident that to many men there is an almost equal charm in his murders and killings. How otherwise can we explain the fact that even so great a tragedian as Edwin Booth has allowed himself to be betrayed into a rendering of the battle scene in Richard III. closely verging, if it does not actually trespass upon, the repulsive? One of the most telling proofs which can be adduced to show how deep-seated such feelings are in us, is furnished by George Eliot's introduction, in "Adam Bede," of the omen of the willow wand, the mysterious midnight raps of which announce death. In a writer of her quality such an obvious incongruity amounts to a positive blemish.
These observations are jotted down here in explanation rather than in criticism of the title chosen by Mr. Nicoll for his etching, which reproduces a picture lately painted by him. One would think a moonlit night sufficiently attractive and full of magic, without a suspicion of dark deeds. But the night is pregnant of weird fancies, and those who are accustomed to take moonlight walks through field and forest,—a pleasure which most people either deprive themselves of voluntarily, or which is denied to them by circumstances—know well enough how irresistible is the temptation at such times to indulge in all sorts of imaginings. Mr. Nicoll was, moreover, justified in his choice by facts. The scene of the etching is laid near Calais, in the State of Maine, the neighborhood of which is said to be quite a resort for smugglers. The fire is used by them as a signal, and to draw attention from the actual landing place, a short distance beyond. The vessels employed in the illegal traffic are ordinary fishing schooners, and the men apparently come ashore to melt pitch for repairing an ever-broken boat, or for some other innocent occupation.
James Craig Nicoll was born in New York, on November 22, 1846, and made his studies in his native city, principally under the guidance of Mr. de Haas. He is an associate of the National Academy, treasurer of the American Water Color Society, and secretary of the New York Etching Club. Mr. Nicoll has given considerable attention to etching, although he has so far published only a few plates.
Back to List of Plates


J. A. S. Monks.

IT would lead us to a most curious and difficult, but very interesting study, if we were to try to find the reasons which prevail upon artists to become specialists. Why should one man paint landscapes all his lifetime, another marines, another battle pieces, and, still more puzzling, why should still others limit their field even more narrowly, and confine themselves to horses or cattle, dogs or domestic fowl, fishes or flowers? To be sure, accident may have had something to do with the choice, but then it is a well-known fact that accidents will have no effect unless upon minds prepared to interpret them, as seeds will not sprout unless thrown upon congenial soil. Many a boy watched the tea-kettle before James Watt's time without result. We all live among flowers, and, to a certain extent, with animals, and yet to few of us do they appeal so strongly as to compel us to devote all our attention to their study and delineation. There must be some hidden correspondence, therefore, some cogent predisposition, even if it be so subtile as to escape detection by the means of observation at our command. Instances might, of course, be cited in which the choice of subject is readily explained, as in the case of a passionate hunter, who, if the artistic instinct is strong within him, will naturally select hunting scenes; or in the case of a scientific zoologist similarly endowed, such as Audubon, who will of necessity become an animal painter. We do not, however, allude to these cases, in which the artist is really of secondary importance, and the force which influences the choice does not act directly. Those who specially interest us here are or were artists de race, such as the Claudes and the Ruysdaels in landscape, the Van de Veldes and Zeemans in marine, the Paul Potters, the Berghems and Rosa di Tivolis in cattle painting, the Wouvermans in battle scenes, the Rachel Ruyschs, the Van Huysums and Jean Baptiste Monnoyers in flowers. Even the world of reptiles and insects has thus found its artistic interpreter, in the person of Otho Marcellis van Schrieck, known also by the euphonious appellation of Snuffelaer, a Dutch artist of the seventeenth century, one of whose pictures not long ago came into the possession of the New York Historical Society, as part of the Durr collection. The specialists of our own day, the Verboekhovens, Van Marches, Robbies, etc., are too familiar to need mention.
The list of names just given brings to mind another peculiarity which is noteworthy in connection with these specialists: they appear only. at certain stated periods in the world's history. There were none of them in Greece at the time of Polygnotos, of Zeuxis, or even of Apelles. But after the age of Alexander art began to break up, as it were, into fragments. Nor did the Renaissance in its growth or at its height produce specialists. Leonardo painted fishes and reptiles so true to nature as to startle the beholder, but he painted also the Last Supper. The flowers and strawberries of Cima da Conegliano and the roses of Sandro Botticelli are the delight of the students of pre-Raphaelite art, but they are accessories in pictures of saints and allegorical personages. The early Flemish artists painted pinks and other flowers with the utmost delicacy, but they are placed in vases alongside of their Madonnas. It was only when the technical side of art gained the ascendency, as in antiquity, that this specialization again took place. Shall we infer from this that it marks the degradation of art? Not at all, certainly no more than specialization marks the degradation of science. But the fact offers some explanation of the phenomenon as a whole, even if it does not help us to understand the cases of individual specialists, the consideration of which: started us upon this train of thought.
John Austin Sands Monks seems destined to become known as a sheep painter, although his etching shows that he does not lose sight of effect in the pursuit of his favorite study. He was born at Cold Spring on the Hudson, on November 7, 1850, and began life as a wood engraver. In 1874 he took up the study of landscape painting, first under the late George N. Cass, then under Mr. George Inness, and finally turned his attention to sheep, which he had before introduced only occasionally as staffage. He has exhibited but little so far, principally in the Black-and-White exhibitions of the Salmagundi Club, of which he is a member. His etched work, up to the present, is confined to two or three plates, and the newness of the tools may perhaps explain why he has not been as successful in the drawing of the sheep in this plate as in the sketches on paper that have come from his hand. But, judging from the enthusiasm with which Mr. Monks pursues his studies, and from the evidences of his skill already given, there is every reason to believe that he will make his mark as an etcher.
Back to List of Plates
Back cover.