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gravings at the British Museum. nature, requested a farmer who lived In this an injured husband is in in an adjoining district where the the act of stabbing his guilty wife, animals were sometimes seen, to send
him word should he cver find one while a female companion in a defiant attitude exposes her breast, to say that the opportunity had ar
asleep. In due time a message came and invites him to wreak the same rived ; and Okio, hastening to the spot, vengeance on her.
The subdued found his model stretched upon the and concentrated fury of the man, ground in sound repose, and after the helplessness of his wife, and having taken a careful portrait, withthe taunting recklessness of her drew without disturbing him. Some companion, are all represented with months later he seized an occasion of a vivid power which it is impos- of a person who was extremely intim
submitting his drawing to the opinion sible to surpass.
ate with the appearance and habits of It is the fashion among Japan- the boar. This practical critic, after ese connoisseurs to speak lightly of examining the pict're closely, at Hokusai as an artist. They call length said, that although it had an him the artisan artist, and affect exact resemblance to the animal, it to consider him little more than
was rather like a sick than a sleeping a vulgar caricaturist. They base
boar, and explained that the latent
power of limb always evident in the this opinion on the fact that as healthy animal, even during sleep. a caligraphist he lacked much of did not appear in his representation. the power possessed by many of Okio saw the truth of the remark, those who preceded him. If he and in vexation tore up his sketch. wrote Chinese characters as he He thought no more of the matter, -painted, he would, they hold, be until one day, happening to be in the deemed a very sorry penman. This neighbourhood of the farmer who had
sent him the summons, it struck him is no doubt true; and if we were
to inquire what had become of the to reduce ourselves in our esti- boar. The man was eager to tell him mate of art to the level of Japan- a curious circumstance in connection ese savants, we should doubtless with the incident--that the anual agree with them. But we are not had never moved from the place in called upon to be bound by any morning was found dead.”
which it was first seen, and the next canons of art but those of our own; and judged by this standard, Whether this story, or any part Hokusai stands head and shoul- of it, is true or false, it illustrates ders above many whom the native the style of art for which Okio coteries delight to honour.
and the so-called Shijā school which Before, however, Hokusai rose he founded are most famous. For to fame, a tendency towards greater exquisite finish and minuteness of realism in painting was brought detail, some of Okio's works are into vogue by Okio (1733-1795), masterpieces; they are full of who, according to a native work, grace, and have the exact preci"invented a new style, painting sion of miniatures. But he was birds, Aowers, grasses, quadrupeds, more than a carefully minute insects and fishes, from nature.' painter; he was an impressionist Many stories are told of the extra- and a caligraphist of great range ordinary fidelity to nature which and power. In a well-known he observed in his paintings. volume of his engravings, there Among these it is relatel that a some beautiful effects propatron,
duced by mere blotches of colour. “ having expressed a desire for a pic-One of the best of these is the ture of a wild boar, the artist, true to drawing of a water-wagtail — for, his principles of drawing only from like all Japanese artists, Okio
reached his highest excellence in veiling the blossoming gardens of portraying birds.
In this case the the bank and the undulating perwater-wagtail is instinct with life, spective of the fertile hills." and almost cheats the spectator In speaking of the different styles into the belief that it is in the of painting in Japan, we have folveritable act of walking. Some lowed Mr Anderson, who gives in storks, also, in the same volume, his work a certain sanction to the are eminent examples of his skill. native division into schools of the
Goshun (died 18u), whose name artists of each age. But no one is associated with that of Okio, who approaches the subject with was even more conspicuous than an unprejudiced eye can fail to obhis companion for the beauty of serve that the differences which his designs and the delicacy of his are said to constitute the characstyle. Among his engraved pic- teristics of the various schools tures is a moonlight scene repre. are in the main trifling, and are senting a couple of rabbits sitting quite insufficient to justify, or at in a field, which is startling in least to call for, any such separathe realistic nature of its effect. tion. The Japanese have a genius Many of his other works are for subdividing; and the people marked by a grace of composition who possess a sufficient analytical and a charm of colouring which are power to divide the extremely little short of marvellous. By simple Japanese verb into fifty-one some of Okio's followers the natu- tenses and seventeen moods, are ralism which was his avowed aim, quite capable of classifying their was held to embrace far other paintings into any number of subjects than those which occu- schools.
for every one not impied his brush ; and in marked bued with this Japanese proclivcontrast to the dainty and delicate ity, it would be sufficient, should objects depicted by the master, we it be even necessary to make a find street and domestic scenes, division into schools, to classify somewhat after the style of the the paintings into the Buddhist illustrations in the · Petit Journal,' school, the Chinese school, and the classed among the products of his Sinico-Japanese school. This be"school."
comes obvious when it is recognised An offshoot from the Shijo that there is absolutely nothing school was established by an artist which is original in the principles named Ganku (died 1838); but it of Japanese art. The inspiration is is difficult to distinguish between entirely drawn from China. Their the works of his pupils and those painters have improved upon Chiof the followers of Okio, unless it nese art; but there is not a picture be that the landscapes of some of quoted by Mr Anderson, nor is the former are wonderful examples there a painting among those lately of the impressionist school. A acquired by the British Museum, good specimen of the work of one which does not bear on the surface such painter-a charming view of the impress of Chinese influence. the Yodo river in spring-time—is Nor is this to be wondered at, when reproduced by Mr Anderson, in we find that all the art students' which are depicted, with surpass- text-books reproduce and insist on ing skill and beauty, "the soft, the Chinese laws of drawing, and changeful vapours of early morn- that each revival of art in Japan ing gently drifting before the rising has been the result of the appearbreeze, lingering to kiss the rippled ance of renewed artistic activity surface of the stream, and half in China. Precisely the same sequence is to be observed in the by several artists of the Popular outbreaks of poetic fire in Japan. school, by the Chinese artist Yen In each case the impetus and key- Hwuy, and others; and in each note came from China, and it was and every case the treatment is so necessary that the Chinese bards similar that they might all have should first restring their lyres been painted by the same brush. before the Japanese songsters could In like manner the caligraphic sound a note. So it has always style of the Sesshiu and Kano been with their paintings. The schools reappears through all the artists of the Tang, the Sung, the history of the art, from the studios Yuen, and the present dynasties, of every school; and the same gave birth to the art-renaissances of may be said of the impressionists, the ninth, the twelfth, the fifteenth, and of each and all of the other and eighteenth centuries; and the styles of painting. laws which they laid down have In estimating the value of Japformed the guiding principles of anese paintings, it is necessary to
eir Japanese followers. But it place ourselves on quite another is often in the failures as well as level to that from which we are in the successes that we are able accustomed to survey Western art. to trace the history of art; and it One prime difference between the is especially noticeable, as helping two schools unquestionably is, that to establish the oneness of Chinese whereas the principal aim of the and Japanese art, that Japanese best European painters has ever painters exactly fall short where been to suggest lofty thoughts, their models have been in fault. and to teach great and inspiriting For instance, Chinese artists have truths, Japanese artists strive only never, with very rare exceptions, to inspire that keen sense of the been able to paint horses, cows, beautiful in which they themselves dogs, or deer, and these are pre- revel and delight. Important as cisely the subjects in which Japan- this worship of the beautiful is, it ese artists fail so signally.
has the mitigating effect of blindA careful survey of any large ing their eyes to all but the obcollection of Japanese pictures ex- jects of admiration which they deposes at once the illogical nature sire to depict; and hence we find of the native divisions into schools. that most of their pictures are If we take, by way of example, the sent out into the world without Buddhist school, which is more foreground, background, or distinctive than any other, we shadow. If we take it as an examfind that followers of the so-called ple the poppy painted by Ogata Chinese, Tosa, Sesshiu, Kano, Kõrin, in the Anderson collection, Popular, Kõrin, Shijo, and Gan- which is not only an exquisite ku schools all painted Buddhist piece of art, but is singularly true subjects, and all treated them in to nature, we see it growing on precisely the same manner, though nothing, surrounded by nothing, with varying skill. An illustra- and casting no shadow. So also tion of this may be found in the is it the case with birds, which portraiture of the Rishi Tekkai, are, for the most part, represented which is a recognised subject of absolutely alone, as though the the Buddhist school. In the An- painter was fearful of introducing derson collection, we find the well- accessories, lest the attention of the known incident of his breathing spectator should be diverted from forth his inner Self, painted by the central point which it is deKano Keiho of the Kano school, sired to impress upon the mind.
It is true that occasionally the cult to find two which by any posartist succeeds in suggesting an in- sibility could be considered to be cident, and in some cases-notably replicas. In the portrayal of the in Itcho's and Hokusai's paintings human figure they are not so suc-in giving a highly dramatic char- cessful as with birds; but still they acter to a picture; but this is not are able to infuse into it a life, esteemed by native connoisseurs as vigour, and naturalism which canthe highest branch of art, which is, not be surpassed-although, at the in their opinion, merely the por- same time, they are plainly withtrayal of some object or objects of out that knowledge of the symbeauty. This almost exclusive ap- metry of form which was taught peal to the eye rather than to the us by the Greeks. As caligraphintellect, makes the study of a large ists and colourists they are without collection of Japanese pictures a rivals; and though their best works tiring task, however much one may show defects of detail, there are admire individual specimens of the observable in them brilliant effects art. Beauty of form palls upon and harmonious graces which testhe eye when there is nothing be- tify that their right hands have yond it to relieve the weight of been touched with live coals from admiration due; and effects which the altar of genius. In the words of at first sight surprise and delight, Mr Anderson, the art in its present lose part of their charm by repeat- form ed and lengthened study.
Nothing strikes the student of “must be judged by itself, with a the art more than the extremely generous appreciation for its merits, limited number of subjects at the and a liberal indulgence for such command of the masters, with the shortcomings as result from errors of exception of Tanyu, Itcho, Hokusai, Japanese painter, fettered as he has
teaching. We must recollect that the and one or two others, and conse- been for centuries by traditions of pracquently the numerous repetitions tice that exaggerated the importance of the same motives in every large of caligraphic skill and excluded the collection. The well - recognised study of chiaroscuro, perspective, and Buddhist saints and episodes; con- anatomy, has nevertheless succeeded ventional landscapes without per- and suggestiveness that might induce
in revealing to us a wealth of grace spective; birds such as cranes, the sternest critic to forgive all the Sparrows, hawks, pheasants, pig faults of his system, though it may eons, and poultry ; mammalia—of not justify the ardent admirers who which the favourites are horses, cite those very faults as models for dogs, monkeys, and cattle ; and imitation.” endless reminiscences of vegetable life,--form the stock-in-trade of the In conclusion, we will only add majority of Japanese artists.
In that Mr Anderson's masterly and less skilful hands these subjects eloquent treatment of the subject would be worn threadbare, but a is worthy of all praise ; that his true Japanese draughtsman never criticisms are marked by a
true fails to give fresh grace and beauty artistic feeling and a judicial disto even the tritest motives.
Their crimination ; that as a specimen of treatment of cranes, the most popu, typography the text is well worthy lar of all subjects, is a wonderful of the admirable illustrations furinstance of this.
Almost every nished by Wilhelm Greve of Berartist in Japan has painted these lin; and that, taken altogether, birds either on the wing or on the the work forms a splendid monuground, and yet it would be diffi- ment of a beautiful art.
THE OLD SALOON.
CHRISTMAS is over and gone, and common day comes back, always there are few, we think, beyond steady, whatever may interrupt it, childhood, or at least youth, who whether a gust of gaiety or the are not relieved to be free of that gloom of mourning, a wedding or clamour of general merrymaking a funeral. None of the interrupwhich, whether real or not, is cer- tions are half so wonderful as the tainly a kind of human necessity steady pertinacy of human living, in the midst of the frosts and chills which goes on unwavering through of a northern winter. Christen- them all. dom does not universally treat the The end of the year brought us feast according to English usage. so many books, which are our staWe in Scotland are perhaps in the ple commodity in the Old Saloon, majority of nations when we make that we can scarcely expect the. New-Year's Day the centre of new-born year to produce already friendly demonstration. But at such an overflow; but yet there all events a “ festive season,” a are enough for all comers in the moment of protest against the red and blue and brown volumes dreary enveloping cold, the long that arrange themselves in a comesuccession of dark days, the mono- ly row upon the table, and offer tone of winter, especially amid us every kind of mental enterinsular fogs and mists, is a neces- tainment, from the solid food of sity :—and we are all glad when it thoughtful history to those fiery is well over. The usual reflections hors-d'auvres, most justly named, on such a subject are trite enough. which stimulate and pique the apThose thoughts that we give to the petite when it fears to encounter empty chairs, to the faces disap- more substantial fare. Mr Lowpeared, to the hands that will ell's 1 little book is neither one nor clasp ours no more: every one ex- the other. If we were to continue presses, and many people feel these the metaphor, we might compare inevitable recollections; but they it to the soup, thin, but clear and are soothing in comparison with most carefully compounded, with the pressure of Christmas presents, suggestions of all manner of fine Christmas provisions, Christmas savours, and the most intelligent cards that woful invention of cookery, which preludes a diner recent times—and all the conven- soigné on the table of all retional apparatus of the season. fined and cultivated feeders. It We have got over it more or less is not of the nature of an oxtail or bravely, thank heaven! and now hare, or-prince of soups--of that settle down again to the consider- homely but delightful broth, on ation of a steady-going year, newly which, north of the Tweed, we established in harness, and fit for were all brought up in an older all we can get into it, or which age--the pot au feu, but more Providence or fate, if you prefer substantial than anything with a the word, may get into it-of which, French name, of Scotland. On heaven help us ! we know little those vigorous productions of the enough. Anyhow, the light of the insular kitchen, a man could make
1 Democracy, and other Addresses. By James Russell Lowell. Macmillan & Co.