As works of reference in studying the history of the
different schools of painting, the handbooks of the late Dr. Kugler, with the notes added by Sir Charles Eastlake, have for some .years been " doing good' service. The portion referring to the Italian school@ has especially been highly esteemed, as is evidenced by its having
now reached the third edition. The German, Flemish, and Dutch schools received the same attention at the same able hands, and
the text gained; from the annotations and remarks of Sir Edmund Head, much additional information conveyed in a manner that showed great erudition and a full acquaintance with the subject. We were scarcely prepared, therefore, for the work before us, which purports to be an expansion of Dr. Kugler's book, and to learn, as the author informs us, that for the most part, the original work has been rewritten. The plea for this rather peculiar mode of dealing with the work of an established writer of the highest repute on the subject, and since the accomplishment of his work removed by death, is, that new and important-matter has been brought to light so as greatly to alter the conditions under which Dr. Kugler produced his work. Thepublisher, therefore, considered it nectar- sary to prepare a new edition,—to use Dr. -Waagen's expression, " he was anxious to keep his handbooks in every respect on apar with the scientific standard of the age." Without being partial., larly impressed with Dr. Waagen's notion as to the 001.011tall standard of the age in its application to art, we observe that he alio endeavours to ensure our perfect faith in his capability by remincV- ing us of his great experience in all the prinomal.public and rate galleries of Europe ; at the same time suggesting that the 0 Dr. Kugler being so comprehensive a student of painting, sculp- ture, and architecture, had no time for the close study of the Dutch school. Dr. Waagen differs from his learned brother, and on the ground of his own peculiarly advantageous researches;., bares his pruning hook and deliberately cuts away at Dr. Kugle original until, as he so naively expresses it, only a small portion of the text is left standing. The work of Kugler has, it is admitted, been melted down and recast. All we can say of this kind of alchemy in authorship,A, that the reader is constantly puzzled to know- which is the gad and which is the brass. We neither get any interest from per • where the discoveries and elucidations have occurred, how much the study of the schools has advanced, nor what were the opinions of Kugler and Eastlake. The Doctor seems to have been ani- mated with something of the spirit that led some of the ancient Pharaohs to chip out the cartouche of a predecessor upon their statues and carve in place of it the hieroglyphic of the reigning. dynasty. Throughout, the book now is stamped with " Wean= Eirogto-tc." The error, as it seems to us, is that Dr. Waagen treats art as if it were an affair of science, whereas it is constantly a matter of con- jecture, of opinion,: and taste. When, for example, Dr. Waagen tells us that the beautiful triptych in the Marquis of Westmin- ster's gallery is not by the hand. of Memling, but by Rogier van der Weyden the elder, we can only take this information n trust, and with all the uncertainty that attaches to the best ju ment in these things, knowing well how often the most the cognoscenti have been deceived. It is true we are referre fir confirmation strong to our author's other work, the Treasures of Art.
What we miss in Dr. Waagen's writings is the usual modesty of statement adopted upon questions of this land, as to which there will always be a difference of opinion ; since the kindof analysis spoken of by the author, will; we imagine, not necessarily convince all connoisseurs, and there will still be those who will:merely-say:I Dr. Waagen attributes this picture to such and such a panite; but Dr. Kugler does not agree with him. For this reason, it seems to us that the handbook should have exhibited the lidditionall matter in some distinct manner, and if -this hail been donewe should probably have taken a more favourable view of Dn Waagen's labours.
" Generally speaking," says Dr. W. in his preface; " what survives of the first edition refers chiefly to the earlier period, inclusive of Albert Darer and ifolbein. In the admirable account of Albert Darer, I have had occasion to make but few additions: Yet, even in this early portion, especially in the department of miniatures, my fresh matter is of considerable amount ; the later periods, such, for instance, as the notices of Rnbens and Rembrandt, while the text has been greatly enlarged, I may-say that only a. small portion of the original work- has been prey served."
To Cuyp and the excellent landscape painter of the extended flat scenery of his country, Philip de Koninok; too little attention was certainly given by Kugler, and this neglect has' now been atoned for and remedied by Dr. Waagen's description-of- the most important of the works of those painters.
A good feature in the present edition: is the account-of three artists whose most important and characteristic works were not paintings, but, engravings; etchings, and. wood-cnts. The " peintres graveurs " were not, it- is true, to be compared in, partanee with the great workers in. oil, and upon the magnificent scale chosen-by Rubens for example, yet, as indicating peculiar&
• Handbook of Paulin, : the German, Fiesiak, and Dries Schools.. BasuPon the Handbook of Kugler. By Dr. Waagen, Directoeof the Royal Gallery; Nettbst Published by Murray.
ties of etyle and feeling, it was very desirable that they should not he altogether omitted. ' We have then some descriptions, _ad- companied with illustrations of engravingS and etchings by Mar- tinSchengauer, the Martin Schen of our catalegneS,Whase'Paint- ings are rare ; one only being In our National'Gallery, Mid:that v recently acquired. These are from the collection in the-Britishi„r.T.
men cave, itoffers the greatest advantages in the world. Herr- noeum, of which, as a puree for studying this brineh of art, Dr.
Man SWanevelt, Simon de Vlieger, and Waterloo, are the other, artiste of minor repute,, who are viewed more favourably .by their works with the graver thin. in those with the brush. With regaxclto,Waterloo, we find Dr. W. omits him entirelY, for thg reason that he has never seen an authentic picture by him, and therefore-he doubts if be ever painted at n11. : This is being rather hard, upon-an. artist who has so often been spoken .of .es the riial of Ruysdael in the. beau.ty of his trees. We And too that both Kugler, and.Sir EdinuedZead refer to several:-pictures by him in England. But. -the. principle of guidance generally adhered to by the author is, he tells us, never to mention a picture „which be has'notaotually seeruand examined. ., .The-materiale -for the illustration of early German and Flemish- art are admitted to be very scanty indeed before 1420, and after that 'date, over a time which included the lives of Tan Eyck, Albert Durer, and Hans Holbein, the examples which remain to us are comparatively few. "The Reformation may be considered astlisi arch destroyer of the works of that early time, especially wiren it took effect under the auspices of the Swiss reformers who left no pictures in- the chureheS, as in the Netherlands and in -Switzerland,” when also in 1566 the Iconoclasts began their fana' tleitl:MiSehief.- - In the latter half of the seventeenth • and in the eighteenth' century, the early works were expelled from the ohurehes, in accordance with the preference shown for pictiires in the manner of Rubens, whose influence was transcendant. Many works of the early painters were also destroyed and allowed .to stiffer decay by the general low estimation in which they were: held. For ourOwn taste, we cannot waste much sympathy got), these productions .of a meagre and ill-cultivated style. Enough of them in all conscience remains for the purpose of the. archwele- gist in art ; beyond this, and for the sake of the grander instincts' of the student, and the amateur, they possess but little to incur
o ur regret at their absenee.
exhausted, writers to be consulted upon Teutonic art have been exhausted, Dr. Waagen tells us, in the remodelling of this hand- heol-,,V-tscius in his "De Viris Illustribus,"writtetrin 1455; Vasari, Oar-el Von. Mender, 1604, and Cornelis de Pie, 1661-2. ' The sub- ject of the art of the period from. 1380 to 1550 remained, hoWever, hut imperfectly. made out until thestudy of inscriptions, illumir tutted manuscripts, and. miniatures, carried.the knowledge of pic- torial art from the,gightli_centUry to the sixteenth. The merit of this eonnected obserVetienoftheir styles is due chiefly, according to Dr. Waagen to M. D'Agincourt, whose superb work Hist9iiv fie
l 'Art par les ifonettneris is so well known to all students. After the investigations of the last-named writer, Dr. Waagen considers himself entitled to the credit of having "pursued the same path with still greater research," and next in order of merit' he places Dr. Kugler. Several other writers are mentioned, but, on the other hand, some great names are conspicuously absent frona Dr, Viraageit's list of honourable mention. We, are surprised that in referrtug to the..aid.to.he,.derived from the study of palaeography, the:e.itensive researches of Champollion Figeac, M. Silveatre, and Von.Remohr, : are not even noticed. .
- CoMmencing with early Christian Byzantine epoch from Aal, ' 800;--1150; of Which no 'examples remain, except in the miniatures of manuscripts; and these exhibiting the stiffness and ganclineas of semi-harbarisin-Dr. IV. says of this style, " The treatment, with broad lights and shadows laid upon the same unyatying middle tone which occurs also in the miniatures, was unviectionably derived from that we 'obserye in antique painting.
Li some parts of these paintings, as in the peculiar type of many a head, in the mean sad-meagre character of- the draperies, in the gold hatchings of the dresses,,intthe green :tone of the shadows, and -in the repeated use of vermilion and unbroken blue) the in- fluence of Byzantine art may have taken effect, as we know it did
in the. Miniatures:" , . • , • : , .
A more deVelope&stage is noticeable in an evangelistarium in the civic library at' Tteves ; • " two elements-of art are especially dis- tinguishable here, _,tlie one antique in character and of great purity, as appears frequenUy in the acroteria; genii, and animals; and the other, of Irish tendency, displaying itself in the no less beauti- flil than_ariginal t4ie of the serolls,:OC4he divisions and spaces, IVA in. Tarious dragon and serpent shinpeiliere first announcing tleLfeuteatic element,wh.Mhp.evailed intheMiddle Ages ; and ex- ecuted. with astonishing mastery and correctness. This peculiar foinuotart,. which continued to be developed in the Irish PairMatS from the sixth century downwards, was disseminated-through the various countries of Europe: by numerous "Irish missionaries." • - About the middle of the eleventhientury, a- suimension -of art progress is noticed in Germany, until-the beginning of the twelfth century. From the middle of the tWelfth, and continuing:unin- terrupted till the middle of the thirteenth, forming Dr: Waagen's Byzantine-RoManesqnejaeriod, " a great advance is seen in Ger- manyiend, the Are4exlends in all the arts. The field of ecclesiastic subjeetsheanne stxtended„and that:system. of .placing thetYpeand eountertypefromthe.Old.and New Testament MjuxtapOsitien first fully developed. to the literary elaboration of the floating tra, ditions of Charlemtigife,-Kin- g- Arthufatultieltound Table, and the
,Song of the Niebelungen, the. romantinfeeling of this period first Nth(' expreesiOn;sind Was also rendered available in the dePart- ment of. pictorial representation: ',Side by-side with those fan- tastic ModesOf ceneeptiota,'Of Whirl, in eecleeitisties4,subjectse the frequent treatment of the 'Apoealypse is an- example, _flourished also those humorous ideaa which found so' rich iind'piCturesque an egression in the grotesque -seulpture -of Romanesque churches; and in the drolleries of the miniatures. The system of -representing the occupations of -each month in 'the calendatu gave further oc- casion for the iittrOduatiott of scenes frcim dailYilife.- Finally, the representations' of 'animals as illustrations(' of Aristotle's-Natural History, and also 'of those' Writings treating of the elate, and es- peCially. of the seienee -of ' filConry; 'became Very popular."• The stings of the troubadours were also!illustratedhy. rude outlines at the head- of the poeni:whick served as a model for the wood-outs of the next Ceiittify. One of them is in the library of the King of Wiirtemberg at Stuttgart, and • probably of the date 1280; the other is in the Paris- library., ' In these works, Dr. Waagen -de- scribes the feeling for form as Ore, and the expression ad- nairable.: In the fourteenth century, more independence of style is shown, and mote evidence of study from-the lrnitgliirldet. .4' The most inapOrtant relics of this kind, are the pictures On the -outside of the wings of a large altar-chest in the Museum at Dijon' exe- cuted' by orderof Philip-the Bold, between1392 and 1400, for the Chartreuse Which he built at Dijon. :They'are probably the work of one Melchior Broederlam. They occupy the boundary line be- tween the style of this period, and the realistic feeling of that which' eiteceeds it. The, forms of the heads, exhibit a delicate
feeling for beauty,' and an individuality of character." • ' - -
Under 'the "general term of " Teutonic "'Dr:. Waagen includes all the painters, from those early masters we have-just spoken of, through the whole school created by the revohitienarypower'for good of •Rtiberi?, and Vandyckhis 'disciple atidielldwer,Idown to Bachuyien, Temers,Mieris, 'end Mignon, and. even to the painters of flowers and insects, such as Egloii-Van der Neer. It is true lie divides theie-inimenne differences into epochs, but .we; cannot trace with him the Teutertie feeling throughout this range of styles; as great and various as anything we see in Italian and Spanish. art. The .Van Eycks are called the giponents of this intensely-native elenient,—realiSM; but then we are asked- to observe how: their in-: finence extended by one seholar; 'A:.da-keesinti,' to ' the-school' of Venice ; then we, are' to detect- the redevelopment'-of TeutoniC feeling by the influence of Venetian art in the seventeenth cen- tury, and next' we are told of 'the injurious -influence of' the Florentine and Roman sohools upon the northern painters of the sixteenth century', by means of. that ideal so `foreign to the NetherlendiSh feeling. All thin seems to us the most fanci- ful of German explanationa of art-feeling. ' The: Teutonic style is baid-to he inipreved-hy the Venetian influenee,injured ' by the Florentine end' Roman idealism, but-after alliredeveloped by the Venetian influence. The term " Teutonie'?'16 needlessly vague and general, when nriplied over so extensive''' a`" period, embracing many different schooll and tountries:' It may-be permitted to the ea'r'ly German painters, but it becomes absurd' when applied to Rubena; Vandyck, and Rembrandt. The native element-of 'Ten; totiiith' is eofiipaieit of crudity, stiffness, And slarish imitation ;• in fact, it is a kind of `barbarism in which the fantastic usurped the place -of' any feeling for. beauty.. ' Whatever"' is' -great in' 'the painters prodkitbd., by Germany;11olland, -and-Belgintai,.-lans not been due to anything-Tentonio ;infect -Tentonism was the evil genius, but it was froni,Italsr,they derived all their beauty. Al- bert Darer wrote his most interesting letters to Wilibald Pirck- heimer frOni-Tettiee, Hans Holbeinshows unmistakeably, that he had studied his grandest Works, from "The entOnibnient " of IZEr= phael in the Ildreliese Palace, and fpcini:Alien44YEast [Sof:per " :of Leonardo at Mani' Some Copies of his diliwini ,'"Tie Prium.ph of Riches," and' "The Triumph 'cif Poiierty,"" in ilidioteession of 'Sir C. Eastlake; might fairly, take their/ stalnd" besiderthoseef Raphael himself; for a grandeur and grageftdrieWs of stylef'entirelY' foreign to the Teutonic. ---- -..: ..:,1 ,i'l, The gieritirKlicibens, Vandyck, and-Rembrandt; are still more opposed to the -Teutonic, unless as with regard to the great Dutch man, to paint froth nature is to be Tentimic. Dr: Weaken Makes
Iterabrandt a Teuton, beeause he sees iu all his pictureliltie North- nian's 'great object, to create a household climate' *Mined: and lighted by himself, shoWing a consciditgimiifirllterfliftefenee bd.; tween the external damp and cold thafgfirg.s; ityelf1;0f; Om- fort and ease which a Southern could never iiii lie.„' ' an enti.
arld, mate of a style, this is 'simply nonsense ; we ithtes werattY, looking at the "'Notte " of ,Correggio, in the Dres. en :GalleVtliat the painter must have lived in Holland. -, Renibran4 wassh-orb with a peculiar. sense 'of. the beauty of colour wider, the ,vague" effects pt." the,clear obscure ; " he followedhis,hpntjnet es Correg gieslid inthe -treatment of his subjects, and had he ever travelled. to see the grtend works . of Italy, Thie,taste wouldA have.heen %in- verted fromthe coarse models areundhim., That hiatoreanizatien inolitied him to Italian art; we seebythe fact that/he-ruined him, self-ln - oollecting oxaninles.JOf Giorgione; Palma Vecchio, Titian,' Raphael, Michel Angelo, Andrea Mantegna ; that he pbssessed a number of antique- sculptures and -noolleetion-of . boatturieennd Weapons- illustrating art in' evett country. Ruben, our author is obliged to adniit,' created acomplete and., Whideiome revolutienin hi4 native land. Bnt not a word is saidrabontithelTeutonio ; plierneter' as' ii. . painter-consisted essitithillyitilliosei f.quali ties which no master had ever before united initi hitlifitlegree ; his indivl duality was so great eat no examples tempt him to swerve from is own originality." But we eau easily perceive that
Rubens educated himself upon the works of Titian and Paul Veronese, and amongst the Romans and Florentines upon Michel Angelo and Giulio Romano. The account of Rubens is restricted
to his deeds as a painter, and considering the difficulties the writer has had to surmountin employing a language, with the idiomatic use of which he was not quite at home, we had it compact and descrip- tive of the style of the great Fleming. We notice here, however, as in several places in the work, that names are spelt differently from the usual way adopted in our English books, and this with- out any indication of the change or the reasons for it. Helena Forman, as we know the second wife of Rubens, is called Helena Fonrment, and his first wife is in one page called Catherine Brant, in another Isabella. Sir Antonio More is called Sir Antonia Moro. Quentin Matsys becomes Quentin Massys ; the same painter being described as Qnintin Messys by Dr. Kugler. Vandyck equally, escapes the immediate application of the term Teutonic, although classed under that head. In speaking of this painter, Dr. W. is compelled to attribute something to na- tural gifts apart from the tendencies of race. " The sphere of invention assigned by nature to Vandyck was far more limited thin that she bestowed on his great master. He possessed none of that fire which had enabled Rubens to grapple with the most terrible and momentary incidents, but he surpassed him in the intensity, and elevation of expression which he gave to profound emotion. ' Dr. Waagen places Vandyck higher as an historical painter than he is generally received, and as a portrait painter in the highest place. He names the equestrian portrait in the Louvre, No. 146, of Francesco di Moncada, the finest in exist- ence. The portrait known in our National Gallery as " Geyer- tins," but which is that of a well-known patron of art, M. Van der Geest ; the noble picture of Snyders the animal _painter, and a great friend of Vandyck's, which is at Castle Howard, are the finest examples of his portraits.
Vandyek, we need scarcely add, was completely Italianized in style by his copying the works of Titian, at Venice, as well as by his studies at Rome and Genoa.
It is only towards the close of the book that Dr. Waagen drops the term Teutonic, and speaks of a Flemish, a Dutch, and a Ger- man school, when pointing out the decline of art which has set in since the beginning of the eighteenth century. All the great painters with whom we are familiar as Flemish and Dutch- Rubens, Vandyck, Teniers, Ostade, Snyders, Rembrandt, Paul Potter, Cuyp, Yandevelde, being included in the fourth epoch of his Teutonic style. Dr. Kugler treats the subject with less pre- tence at system, under the usual distinctions of early German, German works of the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries, Flemish and Dutch under the different masters of the sixteenth and seven- teenth centuries. The general decline of art in Germany and the Netherlands is attributed to the loss of the faculty of inven- tion, and the encouragement of a spiritless imitation of the old masters. The living painters of these countries, and especially those of Belgium, might have afforded the opportunity of saying something in favour of a revival of art, but Dr. Waagen anxious to be impartial, defers judgment upon them until they may be said to belong to, the • past. By that time we opine, a future editorial dynasty will, if of the German branch at least, discover some epoch in the styles under which they maybe classed.