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ELD TO YOUTH. Would I exchange
With you, my sweet,
And the rapid feet,
The white brow smooth.
The cheek's warm rose, The lips of youth,
And the lovely glows
The furrowed brow,
And the voice brought low; The eyes' eclipse,
And the hand that shakes; The shaming slips
That memory makes;
Now you'm litzome, now you'm cheery,
On the long road home.
To the tune that I du tell;
And can lead the dancen well.
And the jolly tankards voam;
On the long road home.
Shepherd's purse or ploughman's
Droo the hurly-burly fair:
'Ee shall hop like cricket there! And it's hey-de diddle
diddle, Turn your partner up the middle, And it's welcome Phil and fiddle,
Ay, from Fordingbridge to Frome But when fair and fun be ended, And the shepherd's silver spended, I must lag it unbefriended
On the long road home.
PHIL THE FIDDLER.
(WESSEX SONG.) Where be to, you lads and lasses, Droo the furrow, droo the grasses ? Here be Phil the fiddler passes,
For to set 'ee all in trim. Look, the children run a-gapen When they hear the catgut scrapen, When they see the maids a-shapen
Merry measures after him.
Sweet as honey in the comb;
Fiddling daily, fiddling nightly,
When my elbow wags so gay;
And the v'ice that's dumb to-day. Yet away wi' idle mopen! Let me zet my heart to hopen, While the last red rays be slopen
Down the ways where I du roam: For the dance of gnats is over, And the dews be on the clover, And the dimsey shadows cover All the long road home
May Byron. The Spectator.
PICTORIAL ART OF ASIA.
When Commodore Perry anchored while the French poster-makers have the American squadron at Uraga and learned the decorative use of lines and broke the wilful aloofness of Japan surfaces. As to the fundamental prinfrom the outer world, the Europeans ciples—that is to say, creative power, became acquainted with the Japanese, synthesis, suggestiveness, freedom for and subsequently with the Asian, art play of fancy, and opening large views through the medium of wood-cuts and on depths difficult to be expressed-all color-prints; these interested greedy that was passed almost unnoticed by dealer-collectors, democratic writers, writers on art, the fact being that from and naturalistic artists, who caused amongst numerous books—some of commonplace notions concerning Asian them very important on account of size art to be imposed on the world. The —there is only one in the English landealer-collectors praised those artists guage, that of Mr. Laurence Binyon_ whose works were rare, in order to sat- that is of true and great consequence. isfy their mercenary propensities, the There is nothing of equal excellence writers fell into raptures over the mod- in any other literature. The patron: ern democratic development of Japa- izing, complacent Westerners condenese art, overlooking that which was scended to acknowledge that the art really grand in the artistic movement of the Eastern barbarians was posof the inhabitants of the charming Isles sessed of certain external qualities, but of Nippon, and extolling Japanese decided autocratically and superficially prints whose chief value for the most that the Asian artists were inferior to part was that of popular, social, and Europeans intellectually and in creanecdotal documents. As to the art
ative power. ists, they-being nowadays principally As to Chinese art, the current notion the makers of pictures, and only occa- is that the Japanese have improved sionally and unconsciously creators- on, and even surpassed it. Chinese art saw in the works of Asian artists al- is associated in our minds with the promost exclusively the technical part, but ductions of its decadence-especially in were incapable of seizing that which the ceramic art—which was imposed on constitutes the real value of pictures; Europe by the manufacturers and meraccordingly they praised only that chants of Canton, who discovered a which corresponded with their own fount of riches in these worthless, motemperament and personal talent. notonous, exhausted conventions, weak
Thus Whistler emphasized in his pic- and spiritless in shape, and obnoxious tures—and this was the best part of because of their too bright and inharhis artistic activity-the elegant sub- monious colors. The consequence of tlety of color-prints and the capricious all this is that the real nature of Chiway the Japanese painted their land- nese art is known only by a very few scapes. Degas liked and imitated-al- students outside of Asia. though not very successfully—their The Japanese paintings executed on fantastically easy way of forming rolls of silk-called makimonos if ungroups, as well as their unsurpassable folded horizontally and kakemonos if daring of composition. Manet fan- they unrolled vertically-were cied their coloring full of freshness and almost unknown until 1881, when life. Manet has borrowed from them
I“Painting in the Far East." (London his harmonious fireworks of colors, Edward Arnold. 1908.)
the British Museum purchased Wil- of tbe emotional, feminine, and ser suliam Anderson's collection, the ex- ous East; while the intellectual, ma ily, hibition of wbich was
held in and sober West was supposed to excel 1888. At the beginning of last in ideas of form. We all thought the year Mrs. Olga Wegener sold to the West trivial, uncertain, and weak in British Iuseum nearly one hundred color, while the East was eccentric, and fifty most important pictures, capricious, and unstable in form; and which she acquired during her sojourn that this constituted an antithesis be in China. Still more recently Dr. tween Asia and Europe. Now we may Aurel Stein, sent on the joint initiative convince ourselves that during the great of the India Office and the Trustees of periods of Asian art, and especially the British Museum to make researches that of the Celestial Empire, color was in Eastern Turkestan, discovered in a subordinate if not entirely eliminated, vault at Tun-huang, where they were and never a predominant element. walled up at the beginning of the Both the Chinese and Japanese deeleventh century, a number of Chinese veloped the art of tone during the best pictures of Buddbist religious subjects periods of their history of painting, but of extraordinary interest. Those pic- almost, if not entirely, left out color. tures, together with the collections ac- It is true that the sensuous Easternquired from Mrs. Wegener and An- ers are full of appreciation of color, derson, being now on exhibition in the which is profusely and universally difBritish Museum Print Room, form the fused in their countries; but their fondmost important collection of Asian art ness for it is limited to inferior, if not either in Europe or in America, where trivial, objects, such as tiles, embroidthe Boston Fine Arts Museum has a eries, carpets, silk fabrics, and articles number of valuable Japanese paintings. of clothing, thus making color, in the
This exhibition, made not for the way they employ it, not an esthetic vulgar display of unrivalled wealth in question, but a matter of life. precious masterpieces of the Far East, Then we can see that, although the but for serious purposes of culture, Asian artists proceed in a different way gives an opportunity to those who are from ours in their search for the beautiin quest of beauty to correct erroneous ful, their art is as fully mature in its notions concerning Asian art; for here own way as is ours. The artistic purthey can study the pictorial art of the suits of the Orientals vary from ours East through a period of some fifteen in this way, that theirs is an art of hundred years, from the fourth to the line rather than of color. The main present century. So perchance this ex- tradition of art in China comes from hibition will open an era for the de- caligraphy, combined with flat, slightly velopment of a new art—with lofty colored spaces that intensify and give aims as was that of some periods in charm to the harmony of line. LimChina-and of this there is an impera- ited to line, the painters of Asia hare tive need.
concentrated centuries of study on the
effort to make that line intimately erThe first impression one receives from pressive of form; and with mere conlooking at the Chinese pictures gath- tour they succeeded in producing the ered in the Print Room concerns color, illusion of perfect modelling. The and arouses sensations which until very ease with which relief can be repnow were considered, not only by the resented by shadows, as with us, has people at large but by the Western
taken away from our painters the ne æsthetes as well, to be characteristic 2 "Edinburgh Review” 1904.
cessity for this concentration, and begins to think how to produce the weakened their sense of expressive likeness of an object, of a figure as it line. The painters of the East have appears in Nature, his mind is dissucceeded in giving life to their fig- tracted from the main purpose of the ures, and that is the essential thing picture—this is to say, harmony and we demand from them.
decorativeness of lines and colors; his As one can see, the means of com- sense of that harmony grows feeble, municating beauty in the sensuous and becomes dubious. manner employed by the Easterners is The painters of the Far East are not different from that used by the West- disturbed by science, the development erners. To write in Chinese beauti- of which is commonly assumed with fully requires a similar command of us to be an advance in art; in current the brush to that of a painter; the European criticism of painting there is greater the degree of that accomplish- almost always talk about perspective. ment, the greater painter is the man anatomy, and optical laws, the comwho possesses it and can express mand of which does not increase in through the brush not only the forms the slightest the artistic value of a of reality but the rhythmical beauty in- work, but simply helps artists to realnate in the formed and varied stroke ize efficiently their imaginative ideas. of an artist-scrivener. A fine speci- The encroachment of science is detrimen of the caligraphic art is as much mental to art, for the laws of one canvalued as a beautiful picture; for in not be applied to the other, which verboth the sweep should communicate ity was clearly expressed by one of the the artist's mood and thought, and greatest of art critics, Goethe, when he therefore be intense with life.
said: “Art is not entirely subject to Then the painters of the East always natural necessities, but has laws of its remember that the principal aim of a own." Sad experience teaches us that picture is not to teach, to moralize, or pictures painted several hundred years to tell a story, but to fill and decorate ago with pigments the production of a flat surface, which means that their which was not due to modern scientific efforts at the development and arrange- chemistry are still resplendent with ment of color harmonies are undis- beautifully vivid colors, while those turbed by any other tendencies or which were executed with scientific purposes. The idea of harmonious preparation have become black after a sensation has such a hold on the East
Then how ugly are the ern painters, that they remain still aniline tints! Consequently one may and unconfused by the problems of say that chemistry has had a bad efchiaroscuro, to which the Western art. fect on our sense of color, while ma. ists became bound by the intellectual chinery, through which nowadays painters of Italy. Our artists are not many articles are made, has ruined, satisfied with the idea of organic degraded and vitiated our sense of beauty, of harmony of lines and colors, form. of coherence and concentration, and The aim of Asian art is not the outthey try to represent the visible world ward semblance but the informing and by striving to equal sculpture in pro- inner spirit of objects represented. ducing shape, by vying with architec- Throughout the whole history of ture in creating well-arranged spaces, Asiatic art, with the exception of the and by asking help from optics to sim- popular movement in Japan, this is the ulate distances. As soon as an artist prevailing and dominating preoccupa3 Laurence Bingon. Lib. cit.
tion of the Eastern artists, who re
produce only that which is essential tioned space, the Chinamen will give and permanent in the painted subject; to a bird, to a tree, to a flower, to a hence the deliberate elimination of figure, meaning of monumental shadows from their pictures.
grandeur, loftiness of spirit, irresistiAs far back as the fifth century a ble elegance, and charming suggestion, Chinese æsthete, named Shakaku, for- hinting in the meanwhile at the inmulated the criticism of painting in six finity of life. canons, in which are set forth the con- However, the greatest praise one can ceptions of art that already existed in bestow on Chinese art is this, that the minds of the sons of the Celestial throughout the whole course of its hisEnpire, and are still respected by all tory one does not find the grossly erexcept a small number of artists of the roneous notion, so popular with us, that eighteenth century who were led astray the imitation of nature is essential in from their safe artistic road and con- art; on the contrary, they look conducted into the wilderness of realism temptuously on such an idea as a desin art by Europeans. These six can- picable and passing heresy. This is of Chinese aesthetics
(1) comprehensible, at least, to a limited Rhythmic vitality, or the life-move- number of Western æstbetes, who, ment of the spirit through the rhythm however, fail to understand why all the of things; (2) organic structure; (3) the Asian artists paint in the same manner law of conformity with nature; (4) ap- the same subjects, no matter how origpropriate coloring; (5) arrangement; (6) inal the artist. This is regarded by finish. One should remember that the us as a serious drawback to Eastern Chinese æsthete assigns the principal art, and is advanced as a weighty arguplace to rhythmical beauty; for, as ment through which we try to prove Mr. Laurence Binyon rightly said: “A that the Western artists are superior work of art is an incarnation of the on account of the individual treatment genius of rhythm, manifesting the liv- of the subjects they paint, and that the ing spirit of things with a clearer Eastern painters are incapable of origbeauty and intenser power than the inality or progress. Such a way of gross impediments of complex matter looking on Eastern art is but superfiallow to be transmitted to our senses cial. If the water, let us say, is in the visible world around us. A pic- painted in the same way throughout ture is conceived as a sort of appari- Asian art, this is done consciously, for tion from a more real world of essen- the Eastern painters, being true to tial life."
their purpose of expressing always the As the main effort of the Asian art- essential character and genius of the ists was to seize the inherent life of the element, leave out the accidental subjects they depicted, they purposely changes produced by different light and ignored not only the accidental quali- varying atmosphere, and represent the ties (as is done by the Western æs- essence of the waves in their perpetual thetes and better painters), but almost rhythm and the curves by which they their whole surroundings, so dear to are formed. The space given to this the Europeans, who are fond of crowd- paper does not allow reference to seying their pictures with superfluous de- eral other traditional subjects painted tails which mar the pure beauty of a in the same conventional, or rather painting By obliterating secondary symbolic, manner, each artist adding motives in their pictures, by isolating that of his individuality, which decides the painted subjects, which they repre- the value of his work. Suffice to say sent in large although finely propor- that this symbolic way of painting