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Title: A History of Sculpture
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Transcriber’s Notes:

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    in the original text.
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    in the original text.
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A HISTORY OF SCULPTURE



=APOLLO=: AN ILLUSTRATED MANUAL OF THE HISTORY OF ART THROUGHOUT THE
AGES, BY SALOMON REINACH, MEMBER OF THE INSTITUTE OF FRANCE, TRANSLATED
BY FLORENCE SIMMONDS


M. Reinach’s manual has been welcomed with enthusiasm in every European
country. It has been translated into every civilised tongue. Never
before have the treasures of all the great galleries been laid under
such contribution, and thus M. Reinach’s book claims a distinctive
place among students’ manuals. The new edition has been revised and
corrected throughout by the author with the utmost care. Some new
illustrations have been added, certain unsatisfactory blocks have
been replaced by new ones, and the bibliographies have been expanded
and brought up to date. Interpolations in the text in connection
with English works of art or artistic possessions are added by the
translator and approved by the author.

“To criticise it would be much the same as to criticise one’s
‘Bradshaw’—it is unique and it is a necessity.”—_Bookman._

    _New and Cheaper Edition, with over
      600 Illustrations. Price 6s. net._

[Illustration: _The Virgin_

_From Michael Angelo’s “Pieta”, St. Peter’s. Rome._]



                        A HISTORY OF SCULPTURE

                          BY ERNEST H. SHORT

                     _WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS_

                            [Illustration]

                                LONDON
                           WILLIAM HEINEMANN
                                 1907

                 _Copyright 1907 by William Heinemann_

                                  TO
                        _MISTRESS KATIE GIBBS_

                              IN TOKEN OF
                   THE AUTHOR’S AFFECTIONATE REGARD



PREFACE


Much that might properly occur in the preface of this book will be
found in its opening chapter. I there set out the ground to be covered,
and define the point of view from which I have treated my facts. These
few remarks will, accordingly, be addressed to any who may think that
a work bearing the title “A History of Sculpture” requires a word of
introduction.

My justification for the title and, indeed, for the work as a whole,
is that I have not attempted to write a new text-book. In my view,
all great art is essentially national art. It can therefore only be
understood in the light of national and international history. For this
reason, I have given much more attention to the artistic interpretation
of historical events and social circumstances than most, historians
of the arts have deemed necessary. Throughout I have written from the
standpoint of one who believes that the great schools of sculpture were
created, not, by individuals of genius, but by the peoples to whom
they appealed. A work written on these lines can fairly claim to be “A
History of Sculpture.”

This general scheme has entailed several consequences. I am conscious
that I have dealt curtly with pre-Hellenic art—particularly with that
of the Mycenæan age. My reason is that ivory work and goldsmithery,
by which Mycenæan art can best be illustrated, do not come within the
scope of the book. References to such schools as the modern German and
the American have been omitted in the belief that they would have added
little to the strength of my main argument. For the same reason I have
devoted comparatively little space to biographical details concerning
individual artists—even of the first class—and have referred to only
the most characteristic of their works.

I trust, however, that I have mapped out the main facts which are
essential to a right judgment in sculpture. The list of books will
indicate sources of more detailed information about particular schools
and artists.

Seeing that I have dealt with general propositions rather than
particular facts, I have not burdened my pages with continual
references to “authorities.” Any of my readers who regret the absence
of the “notes” so dear to many Englishmen, will, I am convinced, be
out-numbered by those who will welcome this small relief. I have
purposely confined my bibliography to small limits, and, as a rule,
have only included books likely to be of use to English readers. I have
taken care to choose those which are well illustrated.

In the absence of “notes” and an extensive bibliography, I can only
make a general acknowledgment of my obligation to the many writers who
have dealt with various aspects of the art. I wish, however, to record
the deep debt of gratitude I owe to my friend, Dr. Emil Reich. I am
indebted to him for that broad, large-hearted view of general history
which is essential to the right understanding of any art. With his name
I should like to couple that of my wife, upon whose sympathetic help I
have relied from first to last.

I have to thank my father, Mr. Charles Short, and Mr. Edwin Preston,
for their kindness in reading my proofs, and Mr. H. L. Weinberg for his
help while this book has been passing through the press.

                                                     ERNEST H. SHORT.

    6, PITT STREET,
           KENSINGTON.



CONTENTS


                  PART I.—HELLENIC SCULPTURE
     CHAP.                                                       PAGE
       I. THE RISE OF GREEK SCULPTURE AND THE ATHLETIC
          SCULPTURES OF GREECE                                     3
      II. THE PARTHENON AND THE TEMPLE STATUARY OF GREECE
          (470 B.C. to 420 B.C.)                                  25
     III. THE AGE OF SCOPAS AND PRAXITELES
          (400 B.C. to 330 B.C.)                                  44
      IV. LYSIPPUS AND THE FOURTH-CENTURY REALISTS; WITH A
          NOTE ON MODERN SCULPTURAL CRITICISM                     65

                 PART II.—HELLENISTIC AND
                        ROMAN SCULPTURE
       V. THE POST-ALEXANDRIAN ART OF THE EMPIRE OF SELEUCUS,
          THE KINGDOM OF PERGAMUS, OF RHODES, AND OF
          ALEXANDRIA (300 B.C. to 50 B.C.)                        83
      VI. THE HELLENISTIC SCULPTURE OF GREECE
          (300 B.C. to 50 B.C.)                                   99
     VII. THE PORTRAIT SCULPTURE OF ROME
          (50 B.C. to A.D. 330)                                  117

                   PART III.—THE SCULPTURE OF
                      THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE
    VIII. THE GOTHIC SCULPTORS AND THE RISE OF ITALIAN
          SCULPTURE AT PISA (A.D. 1000 to 1350)                  145
      IX. THE RISE OF NATURALISM—GHIBERTI, DONATELLO,
          VEROCCHIO, ETC. (A.D. 1400-1500)                       159
       X. MICHAEL ANGELO AND THE FLOOD TIDE OF RENAISSANCE
          SCULPTURE (A.D. 1490-1530)                             183
      XI. ITALIAN SCULPTURE FROM A.D.. 1527
          TO A.D. 1650—CELLINI, GIOVANNI BOLOGNA,
          AND BERNINI                                            198

                  PART IV.—MODERN SCULPTURE
     XII. THE ART OF MONARCHICAL FRANCE, FROM FRANCIS I.
          (A.D. 1515) TO THE FRENCH REVOLUTION (1789)   221
    XIII. THE NEO-CLASSICAL REVIVAL: EUROPEAN SCULPTURE
          OF THE REVOLUTION AND THE REACTION
          (A.D. 1789-1848)                              246
     XIV. THE MODERN FRENCH SCHOOL (AFTER 1848)                  263
      XV. THE MODERN BRITISH SCHOOL (THE NINETEENTH CENTURY)     280
          LIST OF BOOKS                                          305
          INDEX                                                  309



LIST OF PLATES


                                                _To face page_
    THE VIRGIN. From Michael Angelo’s “Pieta.”
        St. Peter’s, Rome                        _Frontispiece_
    DIANA (Archaistic). The National Museum, Naples         12
    DEDICATORY STATUE (Archaic).
        The Acropolis Museum, Athens                        12
    HARMODIUS. National Museum, Naples                      14
    THE CHARIOTEER. Delphi Museum                           14
    THE SPARTAN GIRL. The Vatican, Rome                     18
    THE DORYPHORUS. National Museum, Naples                 18
    MYRON’S DISCOBOLUS. The Ashmolean, Oxford               22
    THESEUS. British Museum. A figure from the Eastern
        Pediment of the Parthenon                           30
    THE THREE FATES. British Museum. A group from the
        Eastern Pediment of the Parthenon                   30
        From THE PARTHENON FRIEZE. British Museum.
        Scenes from the Panathenaic Procession              32
    ZEUS. The Vatican, Rome. Found at Otricoli              36
    HERA. Terme Museum, Rome. From the Villa Ludovisi       36
    HERA. The Vatican, Rome                                 40
    THE MAUSOLEUM CHARIOTEER. British Museum, London        48
    NIOBE. The Glyptothek, Munich                           50
    MENELAUS AND PATROCLUS. Loggia de Lonzi, Florence       52
    ARES LUDOVISI. The Vatican, Rome                        52
    THE “DEXILEUS” RELIEF. The Ceramicus, Athens            54
    THE HERMES (head). By Praxiteles. Olympia               58
    THE “EROS” TORSO. The Vatican, Rome.
        Found at Centocelle                                 60
    APHRODITE OF CNIDUS. The Vatican, Rome                  62
    THE APOXYOMENUS. The Vatican, Rome                      68
    MELEAGER. The Vatican, Rome                             68
    THE SARCOPHAGUS OF ALEXANDER. Constantinople            74
    PHOCION. The Vatican, Rome                              76
    PERICLES. British Museum                                78
    THE HEAD OF ALEXANDER (after Lysippus). British Museum  78
    THE TYCHE OF ANTIOCH. The Vatican, Rome                 86
    THE DYING GAUL. The Capitoline Museum, Rome             88
    THE TRIUMPH OF ATHENA. From the Altar of Zeus,
        Pergamus. Berlin                                    92
    THE LAOCOON GROUP. The Vatican, Rome                    94
    THE NILE. The Vatican, Rome                             96
    THE FARNESE HERCULES. National Museum, Naples          100
    THE CERIGOTTO BRONZE. The Museum, Athens               102
    THE APOLLO BELVEDERE. The Vatican, Rome                106
    VENUS OF MEDICI. The Uffizi, Florence                  106
    VENUS OF MILO. The Louvre, Paris                       112
    BOY STRANGLING A GOOSE. The Louvre, Paris              114
    CHILD WITH LANTERN. Terme Museum, Rome                 114
    THE BOXER (Bronze). Terme Museum, Rome                 120
    ORESTES AND ELECTRA (pseudo-archaic).
        National Museum, Naples                            128
    AUGUSTUS. The Vatican, Rome                            128
    NERVA (Head). The Vatican, Rome                        132
    ANTINOUS. The Vatican, Rome                            136
    MARCUS AURELIUS. Rome                                  138
    A GOTHIC PANEL: “THE LAST JUDGMENT.” A bas-relief
        from the porch of Bourges Cathedral                150
    GIOVANNI PISANO: “THE ADORATION OF THE MAGI.”
        A panel from the pulpit of the Pisan Duomo.
        Now in the Museo Civico, Pisa                      150
    NICCOLA PISANO: “THE PULPIT AT PISA”                   156
    LORENZO GHIBERTI: “THE GATES OF PARADISE.”
        The Baptistery, Florence                           164
    DONATELLO: “SAINT GEORGE.” From the church of Or
        San Michele, Florence                              172
    DONATELLO: “DAVID.” The Bargello, Florence             174
    JACOPO DELLA QUERCIA: THE TOMB OF ILARIA DEL CARRETTO.
        The Cathedral, Lucca                               176
    LUCA DELLA ROBBIA: “THE VISITATION.” Pistoja           178
    ANDREA VEROCCHIO: “THE DOUBTING THOMAS.” A group for
        the exterior of Or San Michele, Florence           180
    VEROCCHIO AND LEOPARDI: THE COLLEONI MONUMENT.
        Venice                                             182
    MICHAEL ANGELO: “DAVID.” Academy of Fine Arts,
        Florence                                           184
    MICHAEL ANGELO: “THE PIETA.” St. Peter’s, Rome         186
    MICHAEL ANGELO: MONUMENT OF LORENZO. Medici Chapel,
       Florence                                            186
    MICHAEL ANGELO: “MOSES.” A figure designed for the
        Tomb of Julius II.                                 188
    MICHAEL ANGELO: LORENZO, DUKE OF URBINO.
        The Medici Chapel, Florence                        192
    MICHAEL ANGELO: “NIGHT.” From the monument to
        Giuliano, Duke of Nemours.
        The Medici Chapel, Florence                        194
    MICHAEL ANGELO: “DAWN.” From the monument to
        Lorenzo, Duke of Urbino.
        The Medici Chapel, Florence                        194
    BENVENUTO CELLINI: “PERSEUS.” The Loggia dei Lanzi,
        Florence                                           204
    GIOVANNI BOLOGNA: “MERCURY.” The Bargello, Florence    204
    GIOVANNI BOLOGNA: “THE RAPE OF THE SABINE WOMEN.”
        The Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence                     208
    GIOVANNI BERNINI: “APOLLO AND DAPHNE.”
        From the Borghese Gallery, Rome                    210
    GIOVANNI BERNINI: “THE ECSTATIC VISION OF ST. THERESA.”
        The church of S. Maria della Vittoria, Rome        210
    PETER VISCHER: “KING ARTHUR.” Innsbruck                224
    GOUJON: “THE DIANA” FROM ANET. The Louvre, Paris       230
    PUGET: “THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION.” Genoa              234
    GIRARDON: “APOLLO AND NYMPHS.” Versailles              236
    PIGALLE: “MERCURY.” The Louvre, Paris                  238
    FALCONET: “L’AMOUR MENAÇANT.” The Louvre, Paris        238
    CLODION: “SATYR WITH FLUTE”                            240
    HOUDON: “DIANA.” The Louvre, Paris                     242
    HOUDON: “VOLTAIRE” (bust). The Louvre, Paris           244
    ANTONIO CANOVA: PAULINE BORGHESE AS “VENUS VICTRIX.”
        Villa Borghese, Rome                               248
    ANTONIO CANOVA: “CUPID AND PSYCHE.” Villa Carlotta,
        Lake of Como                                       248
    BERTEL THORVALDSEN: “VENUS.” Devonshire Collection,
        Chatsworth                                         252
    FRANÇOIS RUDE: THE MARSEILLAISE RELIEF. Paris          254
    JOHN FLAXMAN: “SATAN AND THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL.”
        From the model in South Kensington                 260
    ANTOINE BARYE: “CENTAUR AND LAPITH.”
        The Louvre, Paris                                  264
    JEAN BAPTISTE CARPEAUX: “THE DANCE.”
        Opera House, Paris                                 268
    ANTOINE IDRAC: “MERCURY INVENTING THE CADUCEUS.”
        The Luxembourg, Paris                              270
    PAUL DUBOIS: “ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST.”
        The Luxembourg, Paris                              270
    JULES DALOU: “THE TRIUMPH OF SILENUS.”
        Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris                        272
    AUGUSTE RODIN: “THE KISS.” The Luxembourg, Paris       276
    AUGUSTE RODIN: “THE THINKER.” The Pantheon, Paris      278
    JOHN GIBSON: “HYLAS AND THE NYMPHS.”
        Tate Gallery, London                               282
    ALFRED STEVENS: FIGURE FROM THE FIREPLACE,
        DORCHESTER HOUSE, LONDON                           286
    LORD LEIGHTON: “ATHLETE AND PYTHON.” Tate Gallery      288
    THOMAS BROCK: “EVE.” The Tate Gallery, London          290
    HAMO THORNYCROFT: “THE MOWER.” Liverpool               290
    MEUNIER (Belgian School): “THE MOWER”                  292
    ALFRED GILBERT: “SAINT GEORGE.”
        From the Clarence Memorial, Windsor                296
    ONSLOW FORD: “EGYPTIAN SINGER.”
        The Tate Gallery, London                           298
    HARRY BATES: “PANDORA.” The Tate Gallery, London       300
    J. M. SWAN: “ORPHEUS”                                  300
    GEORGE J. FRAMPTON: “MYSTERIARCH”                      302



PART I

HELLENIC SCULPTURE



CHAPTER I

THE RISE OF GREEK SCULPTURE AND THE ATHLETIC SCULPTURES OF GREECE


Nowadays sculpture is not an acknowledged queen in the Tourney of the
Arts. The writer who has thrust her colours into his casque and would
break a lance on her behalf, struggles for some unstoried damsel about
whose very existence he has been playfully twitted by the champions of
the reigning beauties.

Rightly considered, art is but a form of speech—sculpture speaking
through words formed from chiselled marble and moulded bronze. Such a
language can only have lost its meaning if the men of to-day differ
fundamentally from those of the past. But is this the case? Can
any one doubt that human thought and action are ever substantially
repeating themselves, since men and women are at all times actuated by
substantially the same passions? The twentieth century simply requires
to realise that sculpture throbs with the thought and emotion astir
in itself. Though it cannot be claimed that the art is popular in the
sense that music and painting are popular, our firm conviction is that
its peculiar thrill only needs to be felt, for sculpture to become as
widely appreciated as the sister arts. Dancing may be a lost art; we
are assured sculpture is not.

Under these circumstances, honesty compels us to preface this book
with a confession. It is a history of sculpture with a purpose. It
seeks to entice a few men and women into the belief that sculpture is,
essentially, a living art. Its one object is to marshal the evidence
in favour of the proposition that the marbles and bronzes of the great
sculptors are not dead things which may well be left to gather dust in
national museums and unfrequented corners of public galleries.

Though marble and bronze have not lost their potency, it would
be folly to regard all sculpture as equally vital. Much has only
an archæological or antiquarian interest in these latter days.
Consequently, though building from the bricks of the past, everything
which has lost its meaning for the men of to-day will be ruthlessly
excluded. Our purpose is to write a history of the art itself, to
show how its various manifestations arose from social and political
circumstances, to trace the emotions and thoughts which stimulated
the artists to produce their greatest works and to gauge the action
and interaction which created the various national styles. On the one
hand is the sculptor expressing what appears to be his own thoughts
and emotions. On the other, the men of his country and time providing
him with the raw material of thought and feeling, and compelling the
production of works which could never have seen the light had he
dwelt on a column in the desert after the manner of some Alexandrian
mystic. Nor is this all. In addition, there is the influence which
the sculptor exerts upon those around him, and particularly upon his
fellow craftsmen. Out of the reciprocal modification arises a body of
sculptural production, endowed with a definite national style.

The task of estimating these actions and counteractions and their
effects cannot be an easy one. It calls for heart as well as mind,
both from writer and reader. It would be fatal to treat the bronzes of
Polyclitus, the marbles of Phidias, Donatello, and Michael Angelo, as
too many historians do the documents from which they presume to create
the past. Even if political history can be profitably reduced to a dull
catalogue of charters and enactments—which we deny—the history of an
art cannot. That _must_ take human passion and emotion into account,
and must be written by those who are not afraid to feel or ashamed of
their feelings. From any other standpoint, art becomes divorced from
life. The reader is denied a glimpse of its most potent force—its
mysterious power of arousing echoes in his own heart.

Fortunately, the ground to be covered is pregnant with interest.
The story of the meteoric rise of the art in Greece, so sudden that
a paltry half-century separated the dead work of the sixth century
from the vitalised marbles of the Parthenon, will be followed by an
account of the “Golden Age,” in which sculpture expressed the whole
nature—physical, mental, and spiritual—of the most complete men
who have ever lived. Thence to the art of the Alexandrian and Roman
Empires, leading up to the great revival of sculpture in the city
states of Northern Italy. Finally, a consideration of the sculpture
of Monarchical, Imperial, and Republican France will lead up to the
works of our own time and the final problem—how near such a sculptor
as Rodin is to assimilating and expressing the strange and wonderful
experiences arising from the stress of modern life.

In the nature of things all our correlations will not be equally
exhaustive or correct. The philosophical method is more open to
errors arising from individual prejudice than the more strictly
scientific one, which is content to collect and group examples. In
some cases, moreover, peculiarities of style and subject will depend
upon circumstances extremely remote from present-day experience, and,
therefore, peculiarly difficult to express adequately. Nevertheless,
we hope to suggest a method, and to lay a foundation upon which our
readers will be able to build. Though we shall base our generalisations
upon a comparatively few examples, we shall seek to provide niches into
which practically all the greater works of sculpture can be fitted.


THE EARLY BEGINNINGS (1000 B.C. TO 550 B.C.)

Bearing in mind that our only concern is with what may be termed “vital
sculpture”—art with a message for the twentieth century—we may ask,
where should a beginning be made?

Unfortunately, the art of sculpture, unlike history, has never been
blessed with an Archbishop Ussher willing to vouch for the day and hour
of its birth in some year after 4004 B.C. As a _craft_, of course,
sculpture dates from the very earliest times. While the prehistoric
painter was scratching his first rude picture in the sands about his
doorway, his sculptor brother was whittling a stick into the semblance
of a human figure, or roughly moulding the river clay to his fancy.
The results interest the archæologist, and rightly find a place in our
museums rather than in our art galleries. But they are not what we have
in mind when we speak of “paintings” or “sculpture.”

How far then must we go back to find the birth of the _art_ of
sculpture? In other words, when did man first awaken to a sense of the
real beauty of human form; and, under the impulse of this feeling, when
did he first seek to perpetuate the fleeting beauties he saw around
him, and the still more fleeting imaginations which these beauties
evoked? Where must we begin if we would determine the various human
influences—social, political, and religious—which have determined the
course of sculpture as an art?

The man in the street answers readily enough—and he is quite
right—“Fifth Century Greece.” He is satisfied that, speaking in
general terms, it was not until after Marathon and Salamis that

    “Human hands first mimicked, and then mocked
     With moulded limbs more lovely than its own,
     The human form, till marble grew divine.”

The average man, who has none of the yearnings of the archæologist,
sees the interest of some of the plastic art of the earlier
civilisations. He even grants it a certain beauty. Yet he knows that it
is not what he expects to find in a gallery of sculpture. In Babylonia,
the art was too closely identified with architecture to ever attain
a vigorous independent growth. In Egypt, the conventionalities that
resulted from the influence of an all-powerful priesthood and an
extremely narrow emotional and intellectual experience, proved too
strong for the native sculptor. The brilliant civilisation that existed
during the second millennium in pre-Hellenic Greece and the islands and
coasts of the Ægean, was too short-lived to allow of any art reaching
maturity. It was only when the final defeat of the Persians permitted
the Greeks to devote their great intellectual gifts to the task that
the workers proved the full capabilities of stone and bronze as mediums
of emotional expression, and “marble grew divine.”

But the efflorescence of the sculptor’s art in fifth-century Greece
can only be realised by reference to the efforts of an earlier age.
In comparison with poetry, sculpture developed late in Greece. Homer
had lived and died. His epics had been chanted by the minstrels of the
feudal courts for hundreds of years; but it was not until the tribal
organisation became weakened, and the Greek trading and manufacturing
cities arose, that men looked to marble and bronze to give material
form to their fleeting imaginations. The case of Greece is, however,
typical. The sculptor, like the dramatist, needs the atmosphere of a
city and the vivifying effects of a city’s ever-changing influences to
kindle the vital spark. Both are inspired, not by the appreciation of
the few, but by the homage of the many. So long as the Greek husbandmen
met by tens to honour Dionysus, the god’s feast was the occasion of
a rude medley of rustic song and dance. When thousands gathered in
the theatre below the Acropolis at Athens, an Æschylus showed that an
art, using the same elements, could sound the depths of all hearts and
imaginations. So, in the spot where a few rustics offered up their
prayers and their praises for the increase of their herds, a rude
wooden image was sufficient to mark the resting-place of the god. But
when the Athenian populace gathered near the shrine of Athene, the
goddess was symbolised by the great ivory and gold statue of Phidias.

The earliest Hellenic images were of wood hewn into the rough
semblance of human figures. There was no attempt at more than vaguely
indicating the limbs. The heavy blocks were, however, covered with
richly embroidered dresses which served to hide some of their rudeness.
When stone began to be used instead of the more perishable wood, the
masons did not conceive the possibility of any great improvement.
Yet these painted wooden images were not the first instances of the
sculptor’s art in the Ægean peninsula. Six hundred years before, the
Mycenæan civilisation in the south of the Peloponnesus and in the
island of Crete, which the excavations of Dr. Schliemann and Sir Arthur
Evans have recently revealed, had given birth to work far nearer to
nature than any produced in the eighth and ninth centuries. But during
the years following the so-called Dorian invasion this was lost.
Mycenæ, Tiryns, and Cnossus became vague memories—the dwelling-places
of mythical kings and heroes—invaders and natives, settling down to an
agricultural life in a not-too-fruitful country. The bare necessities
of life were hard to come by. There was no leisured class such as alone
could support an art like sculpture.

But this is scarcely a sufficient explanation of the extreme roughness
of the early temple images of Greece before the sixth century. We still
ask why a race in which the artistic instinct was so strong, and which
had already inspired a great epic poem, did not produce more natural
representations of the deities they had evidently clearly imaged
mentally. An answer is suggested by an analogous case in early Egyptian
history. Among the temple shrines of the Nile Valley, natural flints
have been found that had evidently been selected on account of their
rough resemblance to some animal form. Limestone figures have been
found alongside these, the workmanship of which is almost as rough.
These carved lumps of limestone are rather the result of improving
natural forms than of actual modelling. Applying this analogy to the
case of Greece, the early temple images seem to have been chosen, in
the first place, on account of some fancied resemblance to a human or
superhuman figure. The temptation to commit a pious fraud by adding a
nostril, or an eye, or a suggestion of drapery would be very great, but
it could not be carried too far. Beauty or naturalism were not aimed at
or desired.

The suggestion that the extreme rudeness of the early Hellenic
religious sculptures was deliberate, becomes still more probable when
we turn to the history of Renaissance art, two thousand years after
the age of which we speak. At a time when the artists of Italy were
lavishing all their imagination and technical skill upon figures of
the Madonna, the old symbolic representations of the Byzantine type
were still preserved as precious relics in church and cathedral. Of
the Italians of his day, for instance, no man realised the beauty of
physical form and the possibility of expressing it by means of pigment
and brush, more than Guido, the father of Italian painting. Yet he did
not worship at the foot of one of his own pictures of the Madonna. Week
by week he knelt before the little Madonna della Guardia from the East,
black with age as it was. He felt instinctively that, for all the sheer
beauty that he was striving to impart to his pictures of the Mother of
Christ, they lacked the spiritual appeal of this old work. And so it
was long after the time of Guido. Seeing that the Italian worshipper,
who saw the most lovely representations of the Divine Motherhood in
every church, still regarded the old conventional types with awe, we
need not be surprised that the Greek peasant was content to worship the
rough wood or stone image which he was told was heaven sent.

If this explanation is correct, the image would be an object of awe on
account of the very artlessness which is surprising in a race so gifted
as the Greeks. We escape the difficulty of believing that such a temple
image as the “Hera of Samos,” in the Louvre, was the highest stage that
the craftsmanship and the imagination of the Greek sculptor could then
attain.


THE GROWTH OF NATURALISM (550 B.C. TO 480 B.C.)

The Ionic Colonies in Asia Minor were the first of the Greek-speaking
races to acquire material prosperity, and it was there that the
sculptor first began to shake off the old conventional shackles. The
Ionians were in touch with the civilisations of Babylonia and Egypt,
and merchandise from the East flowed through their markets for Greece
and the Grecian Colonies in the far west. Sculpture, in which the
Oriental influence was strongly marked, flourished there considerably
earlier than in Argos or Attica. About the middle of the seventh
century B.C. these Ionian Colonies began to influence Greece strongly,
and Athens in particular. This is evidenced by the manner in which the
Ionic linen chiton, or sleeved tunic, gradually superseded the woollen
peplos which the Athenians had worn earlier.

At this time the Greeks were becoming richer; their Colonies continued
to demand ever increasing quantities of their manufactures, and to
send more and more of the raw materials. The greater cities were able
to replace the old shrines of brick and wood, which had contained
the wooden images of their gods, by new stone structures. During the
second half of the sixth century, temples were erected all over the
Greek-speaking world, the ruins of those at Ægina and Selinus still
remaining to show us the general type. Sculpture was the twin sister
of architecture. Pediments, metopes, and friezes were all adorned
with marble groups or reliefs. In Greece proper, the tyrants, who had
usurped the power in many States, spent vast sums on beautifying their
capitals. Such a one as Pisistratus turned to Ionia for the craftsmen
he needed, and, particularly, to the school of sculpture in the island
of Chios. Many Ionians skilled in the working of marble from Naxos and
Paros settled in Athens, and they instructed their Athenian brethren.
With the increasing facility that resulted from the greater number
of workmen who could give their lives to mastering its technical
difficulties, sculpture gradually lost its conventionalities.

By this time the art had made immense strides beyond the rude wooden
images of the earlier age, as can be seen from the well-known
archaistic “Diana,” in the National Museum, Naples. This particular
work was executed in Roman times under the influence of a strong
tendency to reproduce the prominent characteristics of the archaic
style. But though it dates from a time when sculpture was once more
falling into lifeless conventionalism, it gives a good idea of the
results of the first earnest efforts after truthful representation. The
sculptor is not yet master of his material. Note the strange expression
known as “the archaic smile,” a direct consequence of the craftsman’s
inability to represent correctly the human eye in profile.

[Illustration: DEDICATORY STATUE (ARCHAIC) Acropolis Museum, Athens]

[Illustration: DIANA (ARCHAISTIC) National Museum, Naples]

A number of painted archaic sculptures have been unearthed in recent
years on the Athenian Acropolis, which show the originals upon which
the archaistic style of the “Diana” at Naples was formed. They were
buried during the improvements consequent upon the rebuilding after the
Persian Wars. Many of these were dedicatory offerings. The increasing
custom of substituting such statues for the tripods and craters
dedicated in earlier days, did much to provide artists at the end of
the sixth, and the beginning of the fifth century, with opportunities
for experiment. In such work the artist had only to satisfy the donor.
Private individuals were less insistent upon conventional forms than
the temple priests. Under these influences the drapery gradually became
less angular, and the set smile of the older statues gave place to a
dignified repose. The illusion of form became more and more complete,
and there was less and less insistence upon the reproduction of the
detail in every fold of the elaborate Ionic drapery. In other words,
the artist was no longer a slave to his material. He was learning
how to make the marble express what he had in mind. The numerous
discoveries of these archaic statues illustrate the gradual change
and, particularly, the growing beauty after which the Athenian artists
were striving. Incidentally, they afford interesting evidence of the
practice of painting marble which was general in Greece. From the
remains of the actual pigments used, it can be seen that the hair was
coloured, and the brow, lashes, pupil and iris of the eye indicated.
The borders of the dress too were strongly marked, so that one garment
could be readily distinguished from another.

With the growing naturalism even portrait statues became possible. For
instance, after the dismissal of the sons of Pisistratus, a group in
honour of Harmodius and Aristogiton, who had headed an insurrection
against the tyrant, was erected in the Agora by their democratic
admirers. When this was carried off by Xerxes, it was replaced by a
group, the work of Critius and Nesiotes, a marble copy of which can be
seen in the National Museum at Naples. We have chosen the statue of
“Harmodius” as an illustration of the earliest Greek iconic statuary.
It will be seen that it entirely lacks the ideality of treatment which
was to be the leading characteristic of the art fifty years later.


THE ATHLETIC SCULPTURES (480 B.C. TO 400 B.C.)

The magnificent full length “Charioteer,” reins in hand, excavated by
the French Expedition at Delphi, is not only the finest pre-Phidian
bronze in existence, but marks the “border line between dying archaism
and the vigorous life of free naturalism.” The statue may have formed
part of a chariot group set up as a dedicatory offering by Polyzalus,
the brother of Hieron of Syracuse, in honour of a victory in the games
at Delphi. The entire work portrayed a high-born youth, waiting in a
chariot at the starting-post. A companion was at his side, grooms, no
doubt, standing at the horses’ heads. The driver’s chiton is gathered
across the shoulders by a curious arrangement of threads, run through
the stuff in order to prevent the loose garment fluttering in the
wind. It dates from about 470 B.C. The bronze is representative of the
highest achievements of Greek art before the advent of the three great
sculptors of the fifth century. Traces of archaic workmanship are most
noticeable in the face and drapery. The arms and the feet, however, are
beautifully natural.

[Illustration: THE CHARIOTEER (BRONZE) Delphi Museum]

[Illustration: HARMODIUS National Museum, Naples]

Still the stiffness and conventionality of the archaic period died
hard. Even in the works of Myron, whose reputation was established by
the middle of the fifth century, there are still traces of archaic
treatment, as in the hair. But in such a statue as his “Discobolus,”
with its truthfulness to nature, its rhythmic grace of design and its
triumphant mastery over all technical difficulties, we can realise how
far the sculpture of his age was ahead of the best work possible fifty
years earlier.

The mention of Myron, the earliest artist to benefit by the freeing
of the plastic arts from the shackles of conventionalism, brings us
upon one of the prime problems of Greek sculpture. Practically, the
history of Greek sculpture depends upon the connections which can be
established between the art and three leading ideals. The difficulty
of really understanding it depends upon the distance we moderns have
progressed—pardon us the term—from those three dominating ideas.

“How we jabber about the Greeks! What do we understand of their art,
the soul of which is the passion for naked male beauty?” So says
Nietzsche. And he proceeds to point out that for this very reason the
Greeks had a perspective altogether different from our own. Nothing
can be truer; nor can anything be more certain than that this truth
must be realised absolutely by all who would penetrate beyond the outer
courts of the temple of Hellenic sculpture. But though we cannot look
at a Greek statue with the understanding of a Hellene, though classic
sculpture is, as it were, written in an alien tongue, the historian can
readily enumerate the influences by which the art was fostered, and the
ideals which it sought to embody.

_The first_ was a civic pride so intense that no Greek of the best
period hesitated to sacrifice all individual considerations for the
sake of the common weal. To the true Hellene, life was life in the
Greek city-state.

_The second_ was a realisation of the extent and limit of human powers
so complete that it left little room for the idea of the extra-mundane
God which Christian nations have found so satisfying. The immediate
consequence was a religious tolerance so complete that we Christians,
who are apt to estimate religious fervour by proselytising energy, too
often regard it as proceeding from a mere poetical philosophy.

_The third_ was a love, amounting to worship, for the human physical
frame—for the actual bone, flesh and muscle, which make the man.

Every Greek statue owes its greatness to the intensity of the artist’s
attachment to one or other of these dominating beliefs. The Panathenaic
frieze on the Parthenon was, primarily, the result of the first; the
great temple statues of Zeus, Hera, Athena and Asclepius represent
the fruits of the second; the glorious series of athletic statues by
Hellenic sculptors of every period witness to the potency of the third.

Like most ultimate problems, the puzzle goes back to a question of
morality. To-day, virtue is personal, morality is practically a bargain
between man and man and between the individual creature and his
Creator. We cannot easily realise the position of the fifth-century
Hellene, whose moral sense did not depend upon the promptings of an
individual conscience, but upon the influence of an unwritten, but
unbending, civil code. There was not one such code in Greece, but a
hundred and fifty. Each city-state had its own fixed ideals. Greatly as
these differed, all agreed that the interests of the individual were
as nothing compared with those of the city. And to this all added as
the second great commandment, “Thou shalt love thy body as thyself.”
To-day, we appoint Degeneration Commissions. In Greece they went to
the root of the matter and made a well-proportioned and strong body a
prime condition of citizenship. In Sparta every child was submitted to
the inspection of the heads of the tribe, whose task it was to decide
if any bodily weakness or deformity was present or seemed likely to
develop. If so, the verdict was death. At seven the Spartan boy left
home and entered the state schools, his life, until he reached manhood
at thirty, being a continual round of exercises, athletic and military.
And so it was with the fairer sex. The one end of the education and
training of a Spartan woman was to give birth to perfectly-proportioned
sons. Each girl attended the public gymnasium. Nor were these customs
peculiar to Sparta. The maidens of the Greek world had their athletic
festivals, under the guardianship of the goddess Hera. A typical
example, the Heræa of Elis, was celebrated once in every Olympiad,
and was presided over by the sixteen matrons who had woven the sacred
peplos of the goddess. The principal solemnity was the race of the
maidens in the Olympic stadium. The course, however, was much shorter
than that of the Olympian games, in fact a sixth part. The girls were
divided into three classes according to age, their prize being the
garland of wild olive awarded at Olympia. The victors were allowed to
set up statues of honour, and a marble copy of one of these bronzes,
often called “The Spartan Girl,” has come down to us. The forearms have
been wrongly restored, but the statue evidently represents a maiden
of about sixteen years of age at the starting-point, waiting for the
signal. She is clad in the short linen chiton, reaching to the knees.

But to return to the main thread of our argument. The Spartan system
was not singular but typical. It is true that no other Greek state
called upon its parents to expose their halt, maimed, and blind
weaklings on the wild slopes of Mount Taygetus. So drastic a method
was only necessary where military considerations were paramount. But
every Greek city relied upon the physical fitness of its citizens, and
any Greek commander might confidently have followed the example of
the officer who stripped the rich robes and jewels from his Persian
captives and exposed their unmanly limbs to his company. “Such plunder
as this,” he cried, “and such bodies as those!”

The Hellenic belief in the prime importance of physical fitness and
the worship of bodily beauty to which it gave rise explain why the
school of “Athletic” sculptors, who first shook off the chains which
had hampered the progress of the plastic arts, made such an immediate
impression. These men appealed to more than the sense of physical
beauty. They touched a chord in the Greek heart which was in a very
true sense “religious.” An Athenian of the time of Pericles must have
inspired Mr. Arthur Balfour when in answer to the query “What do you
mean by a beautiful soul?” he replied, “Well, to tell you the truth, my
dear lady, I mean a beautiful body.”

The mythological religion of Greece had retarded, as we have seen, the
progress of the sculptor. In its early stages the art, of course, owed
much to its position as a handmaiden of religion. The first artists
found the priests, and still more those making dedicatory offerings
at the shrines of the great gods, their chief patrons. When, however,
the craftsmen proved the possibility of not only a truthful but even
an ideal representation of nature, and were ready to discard the
meaningless conventionalities of the earlier stage, these religious
influences proved a bar rather than an aid to progress. When a city
desired to erect a new statue in its chief temple, it offered the
commission, not to the daring innovator, but to one of the old school,
or at least to an artist who was willing to confine his experiments to
other classes of subjects.

[Illustration: “THE SPARTAN GIRL” Vatican, Rome]

[Illustration: THE DORYPHORUS OF POLYCLITUS National Museum, Naples]

In this plight the sculptor, consciously or unconsciously, sealed
an alliance with the worshipper at the shrine of bodily beauty. The
results were immediate. After the middle of the sixth century it became
customary to erect statues in honour of victors in the national games.
They were frequently set up by the victor’s colony or state in the
sacred grove of Zeus at Olympia, in honour of their subject’s success.
An iconic statue was the peculiar privilege of one who had proved the
winner on at least three occasions, but others were erected of a more
general character. These portrayed the pick of the youth of the Grecian
world in all the varied attitudes of the different sports. No subjects
could have offered better opportunities to an artist appealing to a
race with the characteristics we have sketched.

Moreover, the circumstances under which his work was given to the
world were ideal. Compare the sculpture-rooms at Burlington House with
the sacred grove of Zeus at Olympia, compare the average private-view
“crowd” with the gathering of Greeks every four years for the Olympian
festival, and one can see why men speak of sculpture as “a lost art.”


THE OLYMPIAN GAMES

When the Olympian games started they were confined to the south of
Greece, and grew up under the patronage of Sparta. As early as 776 B.C.
the meetings determined the chronological system of Greece. A few years
later the festival had established itself so firmly in the Hellenic
social system that it became the occasion of a national assembly of
the Greek-speaking world. At all other times the distinction between
Athenian and Spartan, between Argive and Theban, was absolute. During
the Olympian games the Greek escaped from the grinding effort to
preserve his civic individuality—the price he paid for citizenship in
such a state as Athens or Sparta. Under the shadow of Mount Cronus, at
the time of the second full moon after Midsummer Day, the competitors
and spectators came together from Italy, Sicily, Asia Minor, and the
islands of the Ægean. A sacred armistice had been proclaimed by the
Olympian heralds in all the states of Greece. The deputies from every
part vied with one another in the splendour of their equipment and the
value of their offerings to the state of which they were the guests.

Remembering that we are endeavouring to account for the rise of one
of the great arts of all time, let us call to mind the scene on the
plain between the Alpheus and the Cladeus on one of the five days
during which the festival lasted. With one exception—the Priestess of
Demeter—there is no woman in the vast assembly. It is the fourth day
of the games. The judges can be seen, clad in the purple robes of their
office. Near by, in the brilliant sunshine, his naked form standing
out in clear outline, is one of the competitors in the Pentathlon.
This comprises leaping, running, wrestling, and hurling the spear and
discus. All who enter must excel in each. Victory is not certain until
three of the five events have been won. The most famous Pentathli are
light men—not bulky wrestlers. Of all the competitions, this needs
the finest physique and is most calculated to develop that elasticity
and harmonious balance which the Greek prizes in his youth. Well might
Aristotle call the Pentathli “the most handsome of all athletes.” The
youthful figure, on a space raised slightly above the ground, is of
pure Hellenic blood. He rests on his right foot, his knee bent and
his body leaning forward. In his hand is the stone discus, ten or
twelve inches in diameter, which reaches half way up his forearm. In
front, in the distance, stands a friend ready to mark the spot where
the stone falls. The eyes of Greece are upon the discobolus. His only
reward is the right to lay the crown of leaves in the shrine of the
god of his native town. Can it be wondered that the artists of Greece
were inspired to their grandest achievements by such sights? It would
have been strange indeed if their finest works had not included the
representations of the winners of the garland of wild olive.

But the truth goes deeper than this. Without such inspirations Greek
sculpture would never have risen to the heights it did attain. And
without the achievements of the Hellene, can we be sure that Michael
Angelo would have ever been more than a struggler? He might have
painted the Sistine ceiling, but would he have modelled the David or
carved the monuments in the Medici Chapel? The festival at Olympia and
the gymnasia in every Greek city were surely necessary if the art which
depends upon “the passion for naked male beauty” was to come to its
own. In no other way could “every limb present”—we are quoting from
Schopenhauer—“its plastic significance to criticism and to comparison
with the ideal which lay undeveloped” in the imaginations of men. Under
circumstances less strenuous the dull anticipation of bodily beauty
would never have been raised “to such distinct consciousness that men
would have become capable of objectifying it in works of art.”

We have seen that the initiation of the Olympian games was due to
Sparta and its Peloponnesian allies. Moreover, the custom of laying
aside all clothing for the various sports was first adopted by the
Peloponnesians, and only spread slowly through the other Greek
city-states. These facts, together with the location of Olympia in
the centre of the Peloponnese, suggest why the “Dorian” sculptors
devoted particular attention to such subjects as the Olympian festivals
offered. In the fifth century Argos was second only to Athens as an
artistic centre, and Polyclitus of Argos, who headed “the Dorian
School,” was considered the equal of Phidias himself.

The ideal for which Polyclitus worked was the portrayal of the healthy
human form in its most complete and harmonious development, and,
particularly, the preservation of a due proportion between the various
parts of the body. His success may be judged from the fact that his
statue, the “Doryphorus”—spear-bearer—was adopted by his artistic
successors as the standard of perfection of the youthful male figure,
and was known as “The Canon.”

The bronze originals of the “Doryphorus” and its companion, the
“Diadumenus,” which depicts a youth binding the diadem of victory about
his brow, have perished. We are therefore compelled to gauge the genius
of Polyclitus by the marble copies. There is a famous copy of the
“Doryphorus” in the National Museum at Naples.

[Illustration: _Photo. Holliday, Oxford_

MYRON’S DISCOBOLUS The Ashmolean, Oxford]

The chief point of interest in the Dorian school, however, arises from
a comparison of the works produced under its direct influence with
the better-known examples of the Attic school. Early in the fifth
century the school of sculpture located around Argos seems to have
been one of the most influential in Greece. The Argive Ageladas, under
whom Polyclitus was a student, is credited with having instructed the
two other early masters—Myron and Phidias. However this may be, the
Argive influence was not all-powerful amongst the Athenian sculptors.
The variation between the two schools is more noticeable than the
resemblance. And this is of vital interest, depending as it does upon
the entirely different mental and emotional atmosphere in the two
city-states.

If the two well-known statues of discoboli are compared with the
“Doryphorus” of Polyclitus, the characteristic differences between the
Athenian and Dorian schools are clear.

The standing “Discobolus” may well be a copy of the “Pentathlon Winner”
of Alcamenes, a co-worker with Phidias, who reached his prime about 420
B.C. It shows the athlete holding the discus in his left hand. He is
measuring the ground with his eye, testing the elasticity of his limbs
and the sureness of his footing as he does so.

The “Discobolus” of Myron represents the Pentathlete in the act of
throwing the discus. Lucian speaks of “the discus-thrower, bending into
position for the cast: turning towards the hand holding the discus,
and all but kneeling on one knee, he seems as if he would straighten
himself up at the throw.” The statue is a consummate proof of Myron’s
skill in the rendering of vigorous movement. The copies in the Vatican
and the British Museum are in marble. In the original bronze the
discus-thrower looked back, not at the ground, as in the restoration.
The correct attitude can be seen in the recently discovered replica,
now in the possession of the Italian Government, or, still better, in
the fine bronze cast in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, which dispenses
with the disfiguring support necessary in a marble copy.

Both these statues of discoboli are distinguished above all for the
rhythm of their composition—a rhythm which is the expression in
bronze of the beautifully balanced and magnificently full lives of the
Athenians of the Periclean age. Polyclitus invested his figures with
a natural vigour and dignity which won for him the suffrages of his
Peloponnesian countrymen. But even allowing for the fact that we judge
the Argive from late copies, while such originals as the Parthenon
frieze remain to witness to the achievements of the rival school,
it cannot be doubted that the Athenian ideal was the nobler and its
attainment worthier of praise. Nor can we attribute the difference to
anything else than the more vitalising atmosphere in which Athenian art
was nourished—a fact which will be clear when we have estimated the
circumstances which led to the erection of the Parthenon.



CHAPTER II

THE PARTHENON AND THE TEMPLE STATUARY OF GREECE (470 B.C. TO 420 B.C.)


On the vast canvas of recorded history one half-century has always
stood out. The clearer the vision of the observer and the larger his
view, the more every line in the composition has appeared to converge
upon and lead up to that central point. Ever and again the imagination
of man, fascinated by some new beauty, has been tempted away. It has
always returned with a new wonder. The advance of knowledge has changed
the world’s estimate of this and that part of the glowing record of
human action and endeavour. But the relative importance of those fifty
years has been preserved throughout the ages.

This, we believe, represents the true position of Athens during the
fifth century before our era in the scheme of general history. But a
great art is only the expression of a nation’s moods. As the Greek
epigram puts it:

    “I sang those songs that gain so much renown:
     I, Phœbus; Homer merely wrote them down.”

We have therefore only to alter a few phrases to arrive at the real
position of Athenian sculpture between 470 and 420 B.C. in the scale
of artistic achievement. The proposition may need qualification. If
so, we may well prepare ourselves for the task by the most generous
appreciation of this—the Golden Age of Sculpture.

So much for panegyric. What are the facts? How closely was sculpture
connected with the every-day and all-day lives of the Athenian
citizens? We shall find that the art was interwoven with all that was
most vital in the nation’s history; that its roots struck down deep
into the hearts of the people.

The victory at Marathon, which broke the spell of Persian
invincibility, and the brilliant sea fight at Salamis, which settled
the future course of civilisation in Western Europe, had made Athens
the principal city in Greece. The smaller states in her vicinity and
the great trading cities of Asia Minor, attracted by the position of
Athens as a sea power, joined the Confederation of which she was the
leading spirit. Even those which refrained from a political alliance
could not withhold their admiration from the men who had done so much
to save Greece from the dreaded hordes from the East.

The Athenians had, however, only attained this position at the cost
of the destruction of their city. Xerxes had sacked and burnt Athens
during the second campaign of 480 B.C. Directly peace was assured the
Athenians set to work to rebuild the town. Cimon, the aristocrat, and
Pericles, the democrat, vied with each other in ensuring that the
new city should outshine the capital of any state in Greece. With
fresh markets opening up every year the material prosperity of Attica
increased by leaps and bounds. Produce poured in from Asia Minor,
the islands of the Ægean, the colonies in Sicily and Italy, and the
settlements on the shores of the Black Sea. Directly the absolutely
necessary rebuilding had been accomplished and the defences of the
town were sufficiently sure, the Athenians prepared to make their city
worthy of the headship of the Panhellenic League. In bringing this
about they were to do honour to the goddess to whose fostering care
they ascribed their victory over the great conqueror of the East. As we
have seen, no lack of means hampered the accomplishment of the Athenian
ambition.

About 450 B.C. a temple was erected on the south-west of the Acropolis
to the honour of Athena Nike—the giver of Victory. A year or two later
the colossal bronze statue of Athena was erected in front of the spot
where the Parthenon was to be built in the following year.


THE PARTHENON

In the early days of Athens the Acropolis had been a rocky eminence
which served as a natural retreat, on which the dwelling of the chiefs
was erected with the shrine of the tribal deity. Its precipitous cliffs
enabled a body of determined defenders to keep an enemy at bay; so that
those living at its foot soon obtained a commanding position among the
village tribes of Attica from their ability to offer a place of safety
in time of stress. In course of time these tribes became united in the
common worship they paid to the Virgin Athena who gave her name to the
leading settlement, and all offered their gifts at her shrine in the
centre of the fortress when her inspiration gave them the victory. Now,
however, Athens was to put the Acropolis to another use. Cimon levelled
its rugged plateau, and, by building extensive walls around its slopes
and filling in the gaps between the walls and the rock, considerably
increased its area. On the top arose the buildings which were to make
Athens one of the wonders of the world. The chief of these was, of
course, the Parthenon—the temple of the virgin goddess Athena. On this
all the genius of Attica was lavished. Ictinus, the greatest architect
in Greece, furnished the design. Phidias was by common consent the
most fitted to beautify the buildings with the marble groups and
reliefs which were now the great feature of every public building in
Greece. Under him were placed the most accomplished bronze-workers and
stone-cutters of the day. Born about 500 B.C., Phidias was a boy when
Miltiades and his eleven thousand Athenians and Platæans drove the army
of Darius to its boats at Marathon. Like Sophocles, he may have borne
arms at Salamis. He had grown up in an atmosphere saturated with his
countrymen’s successes and ambitions. In temperament, the embodiment
of the Attic spirit, Phidias was the very man to compose the pæan in
marble which should cry his country’s prowess to the world when every
Grecian voice was stilled. The others were to carry out his designs
for the decoration of the temple, but his own work was to be the great
ivory and gold statue of Athena which the Parthenon was to enshrine.

Ten years later (438 B.C.) the work was finished. When the second
statue of Athena was unveiled the goddess was found to be no longer
the warlike maiden who, spear in hand, led those who bore her name to
victory. Phidias’ colossal figure, some forty feet high, portrayed
the virgin in her robes of triumph, with the symbol of victory in her
hand. From her shoulders hung the ægis wherewith her father Zeus had
destroyed his foes, from the centre of which the dreaded gorgon’s head
stared out. The face, arms and feet of the goddess were of ivory,
the dress being decorated with gold. This statue of Athena Parthenos
has been lost to the world since the coming of Christianity to Athens
about 430 A.D., but the accounts of classical travellers and some rude
reproductions enable us to reconstruct the masterpiece of Phidias, at
least in imagination.

The Parthenon itself was built from the golden-hued marble of
Pentelicus, quarried from the mines near Athens. Its architecture was
of the simple yet stately Doric order. The principal chamber of the
temple—the cella—in which the statue of Athena Parthenos stood, was
surrounded by a colonnade of Doric pillars. The metopes, or square
panels above the colonnade, were filled with groups sculptured in high
relief, the outside of the cella being decorated with a frieze in low
relief. In judging this it is important to remember that these reliefs
stood forty feet above the floor of the colonnade. Colour was added to
increase their effect, while the bridles and other appointments of the
horses were of metal. The triangular pediments above the porticos were
filled with two great groups sculptured in the round.

Throughout the series of sculptured marbles with which the Parthenon
was decorated, Phidias’ aim was to illustrate the greatness of the
goddess of the Athenians. In the pedimental groups the artist showed
Athena’s miraculous birth and her victory in the contest with Poseidon.
The eastern pediment pictured Olympus just after the axe of Hephaestus
had freed Athena from her father’s head. The virgin stood fully armed
by the side of Zeus in the midst of the wondering gods. The design for
the western pediment portrayed a scene even more closely connected with
Athenian history. Poseidon had claimed the right to give a name to the
city of the sons of Cecrops, a demand to which Athena would not agree.
It was decided that the one who, in the opinion of Zeus, produced the
more serviceable gift for mankind, should secure the privilege. Phidias
chose the moment when Zeus had awarded the right to Athena on the
ground that the olive tree, which had sprung up on the Acropolis at her
command, was of more value to the human race than the horse—the emblem
of war—upon which Poseidon had relied.

The carvings of the metopes represented the overthrow of the
personifications of the powers of evil of which it was the mission
of the goddess of wisdom to rid the world. In some were depicted the
victory of the Greeks over the Eastern amazons, in others the victory
of the gods over the earth-born giants, and in the rest the contests of
Centaurs and Lapiths. They were all in very high relief. It is certain
that Phidias had less to do with this portion of the decoration of the
temple than with the sculptures in the pediments or the frieze, and the
work is of varying merit.

In the low relief on the frieze within the colonnade the sculptor
depicted perhaps the most Athenian scene of all—the panathenaic
procession. The festival of which this was the culmination was
instituted in honour of Athena Polias—the Protectress of the City.
Every town in Attica and each colony and subject town contributed its
share to the sacrifices in honour of the occasion. On the last day the
whole population of the State, some on foot, some on horseback or in
chariots, marched in procession to lay the peplos of the goddess in
her temple. The concourse included a band of the noblest maidens of
the city carrying baskets of offerings, the right to be one of these
being the greatest honour to which an Athenian girl could aspire. To
adorn the frieze, Phidias imaged this great procession divided into
two long lines, running along the north and south sides of the cella
respectively. Both met in the eastern face. At this spot the sculptor
showed the Athenian maidens with the vessels of sacrifice and the gods,
who, though invisible, were among their people on that day. A priest
stood in the centre possibly receiving the embroidered robe of the
goddess from a little boy. On the right and left were seated the chief
divinities of Hellas—on the one side Athena, Hephaestus, Poseidon, and
Dionysus, and on the other Zeus and Hera attended by Isis.

[Illustration: “THESEUS” British Museum]

[Illustration: “THE THREE FATES” British Museum]

Enough remains of the various parts of the Parthenon decorations
to enable us to judge of the supreme gifts of the artist to whose
imagination they were due and under whose direction they were
fashioned. An hour in the Elgin room of the British Museum, where
the larger part are enshrined, should be sufficient to convince the
greatest sceptic. The magnificent group “The Three Fates” show the
marvellous skill of the Athenian sculptors in dealing with drapery.
There is an ideal nobility in such a figure as that familiarly known
as “The Theseus” which places it on a higher plane of art than either
the beautifully proportioned forms of Polyclitus or the rhythmical
translations of nature by Myron. The wonderful fertility of invention,
which is, perhaps, the most noticeable feature of the whole of the
Parthenon designs, would have been an impossible achievement for the
steady imagination of the Argive sculptor. It needed the temperament
of an Athenian artist working under the inspiration of his subject
and certain of the appreciation of his countrymen. It is one of the
tragedies of art that one who had deserved the esteem of his fellows so
fully did not retain it. Phidias died in exile at Elis. An accusation
of misappropriating the gold voted for the statue, together with a
charge of sacrilege for engraving his own portrait and that of Pericles
on the shield of Athena, caused the great sculptor to leave the city he
had served so well. He died about 432 B.C.

So far we have spoken of Phidias, the sculptor, and Ictinus, the
architect. Our modern ideas incline us to associate the artist with
the work—Wren with St. Paul’s and Raphael with the “Sistine Madonna.”
In reality, the foundation-stone of the Parthenon should be inscribed
thus: “Pericles and the people of Athens made me.”

A work of art so great, which exemplified the struggles and aspirations
of a race so completely, could not but owe the largest debt to the
political leader of the State. All the forces of Athens were united
to beautify the Acropolis, and these were marshalled, naturally
enough, not by an artist but by a politician. The _real_ creator of
the temple of Athena was Pericles. He realised that the greatness of
his countrymen depended, not upon the breadth of their dominions,
but upon the healthy development of every citizen, physically,
mentally, and emotionally. He divined that the proud boast “we love
the beautiful without extravagance and knowledge without exaggeration”
was incompatible with strivings after empire. To engage the Athenian
imagination, and to wean it from the road which eventually led to ruin,
Pericles bethought him of the erection of the series of monuments
witnessing to the glory of the first city of Greece. His was the
conception in its entirety, he found the means, and, above all, he
never permitted the enthusiasm of his countrymen to flag.

[Illustration: GROUP OF GODS From the Parthenon Frieze]

[Illustration: BOY WITH PEPLOS From the Parthenon Frieze]

These are the chief facts. They prove that the temple of the Virgin
goddess and the marbles with which it was adorned, played a part in
the life of the fifth-century Athenian, for which there is no modern
counterpart. The Parthenon brought heaven to earth. It satisfied the
individual Athenian’s craving for light as to his personal destiny.
But above all, it stood for those social and political ideals which he
estimated far above his own personal wants. It spoke to his soul as the
idea of Empire speaks to the patriotic Briton of to-day. The pedimental
groups, too, were more than decorations or mere pictures of the great
gods; they glowed with a message which we should deem inspired.
When the Athenian’s gaze wandered towards the Acropolis—still
more when, during some high festival, he stood before the temple
marbles—he could forget the perpetual sacrifice of will, liberty and
individuality—things which we Europeans deem altogether desirable—and
say with all sincerity, “it is worth while.”


THE TEMPLE STATUARY

One thing will have struck our readers throughout the foregoing
argument. It has been impossible to avoid a certain tendency towards
confusing terms. For instance, stress has been laid upon three factors
in Greek life, as exercising an immense influence upon Hellenic
sculpture—civic pride, a deep tolerance in religious opinion, and
an intense feeling for physical strength and beauty. Yet, directly
we have come to grips with these conceptions, they have appeared to
be inextricably commingled. The Greek’s pride in his city-state, his
absorption in physical beauty, are religious in their fervour and
in the way in which they are utilized to uphold a strenuous moral
ideal. Again, the actions which are most akin to what we term religion
nowadays, closely resemble philosophy in their rigid rejection of
everything approaching mysticism.

In relating any art to the social and political circumstances which
gave it birth, it is all-important to remember that the distinctions
between such terms as science, art, religion, and philosophy are more
or less arbitrary. In the earliest times men did not distinguish
between any of the four. When the skin-clad dweller in the forests
gazed upon the lightning flashing among the oak branches, and imaged
the angry ruler of earth and sky, he did not separate the explanation
of the natural phenomenon from the symbolical incarnation, or both from
the religious belief. Nor was this less so when the human mind rose to
more complex conceptions. The Pueblo Indian, for instance, recognizes
a Sky-god and an Earth-goddess, the parents of all living things. The
Sky-god passes across the heavens with the blazing shield of the sun’s
disc in his hand, to vanish beyond the portals of the dark underworld
where the spirits of the dead are at rest. This is at once the science,
the art, and the religion of the Pueblo Indian. It satisfies two
elemental cravings of his nature. In the first place it translates
the phenomena of the natural world into terms which his reason can
grasp. In the second place it satisfies his yearning for some superior
will—we call this God—to which he may attribute the purpose and order
which he instinctively assumes in the world.

So it was in Greece. We may be convinced that the Iliad and the Odyssey
should be described as art. They _are_ art to our way of thinking; that
is to say, to our minds they are clearly more akin to “Paradise Lost”
than to the religious poetry of the Jews. But to the Greek they were at
once religion and art and philosophy.

Exactly the same remark must preface our consideration of the third
class into which the sculptures of fifth-century Greece may be
divided—the temple statues, erected to such deities as Zeus, Hera, and
Athena.

For five hundred years or more the best elements in the religious faith
of ancient Greece had been fostered and sustained by the Homeric poems.
These, at least, offered an antidote to the brutal temple myths which
had gradually gathered around the names of the gods, the nature of
which can be realized from the pages of Hesiod. But the Greeks must at
times have hungered for more definite representations of the great gods
and goddesses.

In the fifth century, however, the sculptors shook off the bonds of
realism, which had prevented the portrayal of such a purely ideal
figure as the deity “who dwelt in the heights of the air,” and whose
voice could be heard in the rustling of the oak-leaves of Dodona. It
was realized that a divine image, as satisfying to the imagination of
the Greek as the word-pictures of Homer, was possible. The success of
the great artists of the fifth century was instantaneous. Within a
short time all the great temples of the Hellenic world were furnished
with statues of the deities in whose honour they were erected.

The sculptors were content for the most part to follow the imaginations
of the earlier poets. They only sought to realize in the god-like
forms their highest ideals of human beauty and dignity. They avoided
the example of the Babylonians and Egyptians who had emphasized the
unworldliness of their deities by investing them with strange shapes
and symbols. The Greek imagination was content to add to the human
form a more than human majesty. Gradually these statues became so
much a part of their imagination that the Greeks found it impossible
to picture the great gods apart from the artists’ portrayals. So
widespread was the effect of sculpture on Greek and Roman religious
thought that, at length, no other conception of the gods could be
formed. In the wall paintings of Pompeii the deities are represented
as of the colour and material of statues, the sculptural effect being
imitated as closely as possible.

Lucian, too, in one of his dialogues, pictures the assembly of the
Olympian deities who are dismayed that men no longer rest upon the
faiths of their forefathers. In the course of the dialogue, Zeus orders
“that the gods should be seated in order of merit. The gold gods first,
then the silver, then the ivory, bronze, and stone,” he commands, “and
give preference to any work of Phidias, or Alcamenes, or Myron, or
Euphranor, or other artist of distinction.”

The most famous of the religious statues of ancient Greece were erected
to Zeus and Hera. Other gods and goddesses were particularly identified
with the various cities of Greece, such as Athena with Athens. But for
the whole Greek world Zeus and Hera were the recognized rulers among
the dwellers in Olympus. The chief temple of Zeus was at Olympia where,
as we have seen, the Pan-Hellenic Games were held in his honour. That
of Hera lay between Argos and Mycenæ. To these the Hellenic world came
from time to time to honour the Father of the gods and his chosen
consort. In the inner shrine of each stood a great “chryselephantine”
statue—a term used to distinguish the wooden statues, with their
veneer of ivory and gold, from the ordinary marbles and bronzes. No
trace of either remains to-day. Wood is perishable, and the plunder of
gold would doubtless have proved irresistible to the Turk, even had the
Christian been scrupulous enough to resist the temptation. Had they
been cut from the cold marble it might have been otherwise. They were,
however, still in their places in the time of Hadrian, when Pausanias
wrote the greatest of all guide-books.

[Illustration: ZEUS Vatican, Rome]

[Illustration: HERA Terme Museum, Rome]

We can picture the great statue of Zeus, possibly the most remarkable
creation of the sculptor’s art in Greece. The features of the “Father
of the Gods” are majestic, yet not unkindly; the arms and the upper
parts of the body are fashioned from the gleaming ivory, the lower
limbs being wrapped in the golden mantle. In the days of Pausanias
there was a building outside the sacred Grove, which was still
treasured by the people of Elis as the workshop in which, for five
years, the sculptor wrought the image piece by piece. “Why,” says
Pausanias, “the god himself bore witness to the art of Phidias. For
when the image was completed Phidias prayed that the god would give a
sign if the work was to his mind, and straightway, they say, the god
hurled a thunderbolt into the ground at the spot where the bronze urn
stood down to my time.” This second-century Baedeker has given us the
greater part of our knowledge of the works of antiquity, which are now
lost or survive only in Roman copies. He described the statue of Zeus
by Phidias thus:

“The god is seated on a throne: he is made of gold and ivory: on his
head is a wreath made in imitation of sprays of olive. In his right
hand he carries a Victory, also of ivory and gold: she wears a ribbon,
and on her head a wreath. In the left hand of the god is a sceptre,
curiously wrought in all the metals: the bird perched on the sceptre
is the eagle. The sandals of the god are of gold and so is his robe.
On the robe are wrought figures of animals and the lily flowers. The
throne is adorned with gold and precious stones, also with ebony and
ivory; and there are figures painted and images wrought on it.”

The statue of Hera in the temple between Argos and Mycenæ was the work
of Polyclitus. It was erected after 423 B.C., when it was necessary to
rebuild the shrine of the goddess owing to the burning of the older
temple. The goddess was seated on her throne; the crown on her head
was decorated with a design of the Graces and the Seasons in relief.
Ivory was used to represent the flesh of the “white-armed” goddess,
and her rich garments were elaborately decorated with gold, the finish
of every detail being even more complete than was the case with the
work of Phidias. If the statue of Hera was second to that of Zeus in
its suggestion of god-like majesty and repose, it was nevertheless
remarkable for its stately beauty. The head, as would be expected
from the hand of Polyclitus, was noticeable for the absolute symmetry
of every feature. The ripples of hair falling on either side of the
central parting gave an impression of dignified calm to the face of the
goddess.

The “Zeus” of Phidias and the “Hera” of Polyclitus are the most
famous examples of the Greek statues which we have designated as
“religious.” The term is, however, misleading. Religious art proper,
religious art in the modern sense of the term, did not exist for the
citizens of Periclean Athens: “personal” religion—with its intense
subjectivity—was a closed book to him. The mysticism—that yearning
to be at one with the ultimate reality—which is the keynote of what
we moderns deem religion, would have been simply meaningless to the
Argive, the Spartan, or the Athenian of the fifth century. No Greek
could ever have said with Bacon, “Our humanity were a poor thing but
for the divinity that stirs within us.” Such sentiments as those of the
mystic, Antony, the Egyptian, would have struck him as sheer nonsense.
“He who sits still in the desert is safe from three enemies—from
hearing, from speech, from sight; and has to fight against only
one—his own heart.” The Greek had no conception of a “personal” and
quasi-human intelligence working in and through the human agent. Human
speech, human sight, and, above everything, the promptings of the
heart, were all in all to him.

We are, therefore, unable to correlate such a statue as the Zeus of
Olympia with such an every-day human craving as that for communion with
a personal creator and ruler of the universe which we experience. It
rather depends upon a desire for an all-embracing interpretation of the
phenomenal world. In other words, such a statue might more rightly be
called philosophical than religious.

With the rise of the city-states, the growth of an intense desire
for all knowledge brought a new light to bear upon the whole content
of consciousness. Men began to distinguish between those impressions
which came from outside, and those which seemed rather to depend upon
emotional interpretation supplied by the self. The deductions that
appeared to be correctly drawn from sense impressions came to be
regarded as having a greater validity than the rest, and science arose
as a sphere of thought sufficient unto itself and governed by its own
rules. During the fifth century the scientists strove to relate the
phenomena of the senses, now to one natural force, now to another.
But they never reached a unity that carried conviction. The general
law upon which they seemed to come ever and again was a constant and
eternal flux. “Strife is the father of all things,” said Heraclitus.

But while Greek science was growing there were many—say one half of
the Greek world—to whom its generalisations were simply uninteresting.
They were the men to whom the poet could appeal. The mystery all
desired to fathom was deeper than sense. Each felt, rather than saw,
that:

      “Something is or seems,
    That touches me with mystic gleams,
    Like glimpses of forgotten dreams—
    Of something felt, like something here,
    Of something done, I know not where;
    Such as no language may declare.”

To such men the “realities” of the scientists were but shadows behind
which lay a more abiding truth. The riddle they desired to solve was
what relation the fictional realities of the scientists bore to the
abiding truths beyond. And the bolder spirits, spurred on by the great
intellectual and emotional flood which followed the Persian wars,
started upon the quest.

These were craftsmen all—the artists proper. In obedience to
some unreasoned desire, these men bethought them to fashion new
representations of “the all of things.” They took the ultimate
conceptions of life. For example:

    “Him, who from eternity, self-stirred,
     Himself hath made by His creative word.”

They strove to convey, not only the impressions realised by their
brothers, the scientists, but the emotions astir in their own hearts.
What matter if the scientists proved these “ideal types” to be mere
lies. The artists felt that the unconscious criticism of nature
revealed truths far beyond those at which the conscious criticism of
science stopped.

[Illustration: THE BARBERINE HERA Vatican, Rome]

By the middle of the fifth century the Greek artist had realized that
his true task was not to strive to copy the known, but, “hungry for the
infinite,” to seek the ideal whose home was in the unknown. The inmost
revelations vouchsafed to Greek thought and imagination in the fifth
century found expression in the great temple statues. Earlier they had
been embodied in such poems as the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey.” Later
they were to find expression in the dialogues of Plato. But between
450 B.C. and 400 B.C. the natural philosophy of the Greek world was
embodied in such sculptures as the “Zeus” of Olympia and the “Hera” of
Argos. That is why we call the second half of the fifth century “the
golden age of Greek sculpture.” Then, and only then, did it embody
_all_ Greek thought; then, and only then, were the workers in marble
and bronze inspired to express the passion for physical beauty, the
fierce pride in citizenship, as well as the deepest thoughts upon
nature and humanity.

The passion for physical beauty found material expression in the great
series of athletic sculptures of Argos and Athens. The Parthenon was
the outcome of the Hellene’s civic pride. The deepest philosophical
beliefs of the fifth-century Greek are to be found in such statues
as the “Zeus Otricoli” and the “Hera Ludovisi.” These are certainly
the finest conceptions of the great god and goddess which have
been preserved to us. Both are based on the statues of Phidias and
Polyclitus, though there are traces of a more sensuous and florid taste
than would have been possible in the fifth century. In the head of
Zeus, for instance, the suggestion of awful power is lacking. The great
sculptor working under the inspiration of Homer’s lines: “Spake the
Son of Cronus and nodded thereto with swart brows and the ambrosial
lock of the King rolled backward from his immortal head and the heights
of Olympus quaked,” could not have missed this. The two heads convey
all the beauty of the first conceptions, but they lack the serene
austerity—the stern aloofness—that we may be sure characterized
the work of Phidias and Polyclitus. The fifth-century artists were
appealing to men who preserved a measure of unreasoning faith in the
gods of their fathers.

The beautiful full length “Barbarian Hera,” in the Vatican Collection,
represents a step further in the emphasizing of sensuous charm, and
consequently there is even less insistence upon the severe beauty which
the fifth-century sculptor sought to portray. To be understood the
statue must be regarded as a work of the fourth century, and be judged
by the standards of Scopas and Praxiteles.

The ideal head of Asclepius, in the British Museum, which has
been ascribed to Thrasymedes of Paros, the sculptor of the great
chryselephantine statue at Epidaurus, is a work bearing a strong
resemblance to the “Zeus Otricoli.” It was found in the Island of
Melos, in a shrine dedicated to the Physician of the Gods, hence the
title. The expression of the God of Healing, whose worship was so
general in Greece at one time that it threatened to become almost
universal, is, however, more kindly and human than that of Zeus. It
is a beautiful example of the joyousness and sweet reasonableness
which Greek sculpture possessed through contact with a system of
religious belief which left the intelligence unhampered and the human
emotions free. It is true that the religion of ancient Greece lacked
the driving power of other and more potent faiths. It was not based
upon such personalities as Buddha, Moses, or, greatest of all, the
Founder of the faith which eventually Hellenized the Western world. But
for a few short years the humane and tolerant religion of Greece was
all-sufficient. Any one who would have abundant proof has only to stand
for a few minutes before the marbles which sum up and express the Greek
belief in an entirely reasonable and beautiful world.



CHAPTER III

THE AGE OF SCOPAS AND PRAXITELES

(400 B.C. TO 330 B.C.)


There is a wealth of worldy wisdom in the saying “Close sits my shirt,
but closer my skin.” It reminds us that the relation of the individual
to society answers many a riddle. The Athens of the fifth century has
furnished us with one great type of individualism—that in which the
citizen was willing simply to add his unit to the energy directed by
the State. In its sculpture we saw the consequences of a social system
which rested upon a foundation essentially unselfish. But, after all,
such social altruism is unnatural. Individuality _does_ stand for a
dominant passion in humanity. The Athenian communal spirit lasted
for a few short years. Then, like many another truly great ideal, it
vanished, and with it the school of sculpture to which it had given
birth.

After 400 B.C. the Hellenic sculptor found himself in a new world of
thought and emotion. The Greek to whom he appealed looked to marble
and bronze to express ideals entirely different from those which had
been potent fifty years earlier. It would not have been surprising had
the sculptor of the later age been overwhelmed by the sense of the
achievements of the earlier era. We could have pardoned a half-century
of decadent workmanship, while a method suited to the new ideas was
being evolved. As a matter of fact, the Greek sculptor passed from
one to the other without perceptible effort. The succession of great
artists was unbroken.

Nevertheless, the break with the old epoch was complete. Indeed, it
will ever be one of the mysteries of art how human craftsmanship could
successfully express thoughts and emotions so diverse by the same
medium. There was the same sleepless criticism of nature, the same
overpowering impulse towards generalisation, which gave the keynote to
the sculpture of the fifth century. But the younger school found fresh
themes for plastic expression. It drew new passions from the pulsating
humanity in the city-states. That the Greek sculptor passed so easily
from the one to the other is a sure proof of the natural bias of the
Hellenic genius towards sculpture. It shows that for one century and
a half, at any rate, Greece was peopled by a race of sculptors. Many
individuals lacked the technical resources of the craftsman, but the
average Athenian thought in terms of marble or bronze. Denied an outlet
in one direction, the natural impulse found it elsewhere. The result
was a new melody, a harmony equally perfect—so true is it that the
poet-soul of a nation of artists has “but to be struck, and the sound
it yields will be music.”

It is by no means easy to distinguish thus strongly between the
sculpture of the fifth-century Greece and that of the fourth without,
in a measure, appearing to depreciate the one or the other. It is
particularly easy to convey some such impression when we have to assert
that Scopas and Praxiteles, the typical sculptors of fourth-century
Greece, failed to embody in their bronzes and marbles the inmost
revelations vouchsafed to the Greek imagination. It is as true that
Greece owes to Phidias and Polyclitus the sculpture which is most truly
Hellenic, as that we owe to Shakespeare the drama which is most truly
English. But the appreciation of the art produced by the England of
the twenty years after the Armada does not necessitate our decrying
such lyricists as Herrick and Rochester. We know that our literature
is the richer for both these elements. We can spare neither the awful
pathos of Leah’s recognition of Cordelia, nor Herrick’s “Night Piece to
Julia.” We must hold the scales at least as evenly between the art of
Phidias and the art of Praxiteles.

In many ways the “Niobe” of Scopas and the “Hermes” of Praxiteles
testify even more strongly to the vitality of the Hellenic genius.
Certainly the best work of the fourth-century sculptors appeals far
more directly to us. The period is that of the Spartan and Theban
supremacy. Athens has practically acknowledged defeat in the struggle
for the hegemony of Greece. Instead of the all-pervading pride in
citizenship, the Athenian is conscious of an increasing interest in
himself as an individual. The old absorption in the ideal citizenship
vanishes. For this very reason the sculptor strikes a note more akin
to our nature. The cold, almost repellent, beauty of the fifth-century
sculpture is replaced by a new and more sensuous grace.

What were the historical circumstances which brought about this entire
change in the Greek artists’ outlook upon life? Upon the withdrawal
of the calm judgment and imaginative grip of Pericles, the Athenian
political system degenerated rapidly. Drunk with the lust for conquest,
Athens forgot that no single town could hope to conquer and rule any
large portion of the Hellenic world. Under the influence of such
firebrands as Alcibiades, Athens pursued the mad phantom of Empire.
Defeat was inevitable, and the catastrophe at Syracuse in 413 B.C. was
but a prelude to the final disaster nine years later.

There is perhaps no more awful page in the book of human history than
that which pictures the scene in the Piræus after Ægospotami, when the
last Athenian fleet was destroyed by Lysander in 405 B.C. “That night
not a man slept.” Every Athenian remembered the fate of Demosthenes and
Nicias at the hands of the revengeful Syracusans. He called to mind
the living death of his 7000 countrymen condemned to a slavery in the
stone quarries of Achradina. Now that the final catastrophe had come,
his memory must have carried him back to his vote in 428 B.C., when
the Assembly ordered the execution of the whole adult male population
of Mytilene and Lesbos. He recalled the sentence passed upon the
inhabitants of the rebellious Melos, which ended in the death of every
man of military age. As these thoughts crowded in, each man must have
asked if the gods would save him as they had saved the men of Mytilene,
or whether his fate would be the death he had meted out to the soldiers
of Melos and that of his wife and children the slavery that had
befallen the rest of the islanders.

No pleasant picture. But it is to these events that the world owes the
sculptures of Scopas and Praxiteles.

Accepting, as we do, the dictum of Pericles, “Athens is the school of
Hellas,” we have no hesitation in turning to _her_ social and political
history for an explanation of the essential difference between the
sculpture of Greece in the fifth and the fourth century. The term
“Athenian” cannot be used at will for “Hellenic.” Every city and state
in Greece contributed something to the Hellenic genius. Each added its
quota to the fund of intellectual and emotional experience upon which
the great Greek artists drew. In these 150 city-states all types of
political institutions and social customs flourished. Some developed
their citizens in one direction, others in another. Men of all types
were created. But Athens alone absorbed and utilized all the artistic
energies generated in the Ægean peninsula. In the Athenian character
alone do we find those traits which, for want of a better name, we may
term Pan-Hellenic.

The first effect of the shattering of the imperial dream was to scatter
Athenian culture broadcast over the Hellenic world. The store-house of
Athenian genius was opened to all. The typical Greek of the new era was
the cosmopolitan Xenophon. The ideal of Pericles, “my state right, or
my state wrong, but _my_ state, right or wrong,” was sadly out of date.
Phidias was an Athenian, born and bred. His life-work was for Athens,
and the one thing that Athens shared with Greece—the worship of Zeus.
But Scopas was a Parian by birth and an Athenian only by adoption. He
worked everywhere and for anybody—as a young man in Tegea; as an old
man in Asia Minor upon the great mausoleum erected by the Ephesian
Artemisia to her Carian husband.

[Illustration: THE MAUSOLEUM CHARIOTEER British Museum]

For thirty years after Ægospotami, Sparta, with the help of Persia,
ruled Greece. After the peace of Callias in 371 B.C. came the
domination of Pheræ and Thebes, and the military supremacy of
Epaminondas. During all this time Athens looked on. Her commerce
had suffered little. The wealth of her capitalists had rather been
increased than decreased by the abandonment of the luxury of empire.
But if the material difference was small, the psychological difference
was immense. Whereas Demosthenes could cry of the Athenian who had
fought at Salamis, that he believed himself “not born to his father and
mother alone, but also to his country,” the State in the fourth century
came to be regarded as a joint stock corporation, to be bled for the
benefit of its most noisy members. Mercenaries took the place of
citizen soldiers in the army of the State. Regardless of the necessity
for providing against emergencies, the citizens voted themselves
largesses from the public funds. A popular statesman was the man who
lessened the cost of public administration, and so could distribute
ever increasing dividends of festival money to the proletariat.

This new regard for the individual was entirely foreign to the ideals
which had dominated Hellas fifty years earlier. Each man began to
realise that apart from citizenship there was an entity which also
claimed attention, an “I” with passions and emotions which required
satisfaction and called for artistic expression. The sculptor no
longer rejected those subjects which derived their interest from the
successful expression of individual emotion.


THE AGE OF SCOPAS (400 B.C.-350 B.C.)

Scopas was the first artist to realise the new necessity laid upon
the plastic arts. He was the chief architect of his day, and in his
work we can trace the effect of the new ideas before sculpture was
divorced in great measure from architecture. We have already mentioned
his association with the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus—one of the “Seven
Wonders.” The Carian ruler Mausolus died in 353 B.C., leaving his
widow Artemisia to rule. She determined to erect a great monument to
his memory, and impressed the best known artists of Magna Græcia into
her service for the purpose. The restoration by C. R. Cockerell in
the Mausoleum Room at the British Museum, or, still better, that by
Oldfield (_The Antiquary_, vol. liv., pp. 273-362), give some idea of
the great pyramidical building, glowing with colour, which stood on a
lofty basement by the harbour side. The whole was surmounted by a great
chariot group by Pythis, containing the heroic figure of Mausolus,
possibly accompanied by Artemisia, after the fashion of Zeus and Hera
in the chariot of the gods.

To the art historian, however, the most interesting feature is the
frieze. The principal subject of the existing fragments in the British
Museum is a fight between Greeks and Amazons. But the most beautiful
section is perhaps a sadly-mutilated slab from a portion of the frieze
whereon was pictured a chariot race. It is known as the “Mausoleum
Charioteer.” Nothing could bring home more clearly the immense strides
Greek art has made than a comparison of this tiny marble fragment with
the “Bronze Charioteer” from Delphi, sculptured about one hundred and
twenty years earlier. The Mausoleum figure is also clad in the long
close-fitting robe of his calling. But every trace of conventionalism
has vanished. Even the calm restraint with which an Alcamenes would
have treated the subject has gone. Instead we find a passionate
intensity which is altogether new. As Mr. E. A. Gardner reminds us,
the “Mausoleum Charioteer” might well be of the company described by
Shelley, who:

    “With burning eyes, lean forth and drink
     With eager lips the wind of their own speed,
     As if the thing they loved fled on before,
     And now, even now, they clasped it.”

[Illustration: THE NIOBE GROUP]

The “Mausoleum Charioteer” is a beautiful illustration of the more
individualistic melody which the early fourth-century sculptor drew
from the great orchestra of Greek genius. But we can gauge the effects
of the new sympathies still more clearly in the celebrated “Niobe”
group. Even in classical times it was a moot point whether its author
was Scopas or Praxiteles. Probably the question will never be settled.
Modern criticism, however, generally favours its attribution to Scopas.
The group certainly contains all the characteristics which we have
associated with his influence.

The series was excavated in Rome in 1583 A.D., near the Church of St.
John Lateran. It was acquired by one of the Medici family, and placed
in the garden of his villa, where it remained until it was removed to
its present resting-place in the Uffizi Palace, Florence.

The Florentine “Niobides” are not from the chisel of a fourth-century
craftsman. They are probably copies of those described by Pliny as
having been brought to the Temple of Apollo Sosianus in 38 B.C.
Indeed, other ancient versions of the great group exist, including a
magnificent copy of the daughter of Niobe—“The Chiaramonti”—now in
the Vatican. The “Niobides” were almost certainly originally designed
to serve an architectural purpose. It has been surmised that they
formed a pedimental group for a Temple of Apollo in Asia Minor. To
judge of their relation to the rest of Greek art, they must be compared
with such a pedimental group as that of the Parthenon, and we have,
therefore, preferred to illustrate them from the collection of casts at
Munich, instead of from the marbles in Rome or Florence. Incidentally,
it is interesting to note that Phidias was content to allow three
or four figures in the centre of the group to tell the story. We do
not, for instance, even know whether the “Theseus” is a god, a hero,
or merely a personification of one of the Athenian rivers. But in the
Niobe group every figure is concerned with the main theme.

Regarded as an incident in the history of Greek sculpture, the
“Niobides” brilliantly illustrate the fourth-century artist’s success
in the depiction of human expression and passion. The Theban Queen is
the incarnation of the belief that womanhood’s greatest glory is to
bring into the world “full-breathed, bright-eyed, and happy-hearted
human creatures.” She stands for the Hellene’s agreement with Ruskin’s
doctrine that the true veins of wealth are purple—“not in rock but in
flesh.” But her proud sense of the glory of motherhood has aroused the
ire of the Virgin Artemis. The sculptor chooses the moment when Niobe
and her fourteen children are suddenly faced with the dread vengeance
of Apollo and the goddess. The unseen arrows have stricken some of the
fearful boys and girls. Others are as yet unhurt. A brother supports a
sister. The centre of the group is occupied by the unfortunate mother,
to whom the youngest daughter has fled in her terror.

These Roman copies of the “Niobides” were carved long after the
schools of Pergamus and Rhodes had shown the possibility of a far more
realistic presentation of physical terror and bodily pain. But they
still retain evidence of the Greek sculptor’s determination not to
be tempted beyond the limits set by bronze and marble. A desire for
dramatic expression does not interfere with that harmony of the planes
which to the purest Greek taste made for perfectly beautiful sculpture.
There are none of the nervous suggestions of muscular action whereby
later artists conveyed ideas of dramatic intensity. Such figures as
Niobe with her shrinking girl rather display a desire to postpone
physical to spiritual anguish. Upon analysis, this can be traced to
the sculptor’s realisation of the impossibility of expressing the
ultra-dramatic in terms of perfect beauty.

[Illustration: THE LUDOVISI ARES (PAGE 71) Vatican, Rome]

[Illustration: MENELAUS AND PATROCLUS Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence]

As we look upon the “Niobe,” we feel at once that so dramatic a theme
would have made no appeal to the generation before Scopas. But we
must also feel that the fourth century has struck a new note—a note,
moreover, to which marble _can_ respond. But what is most wonderful is
the magnificent reserve, the perfect moderation, with which the artist
has expressed emotions that had been considered beyond the range of the
art. The sculptor has not sacrificed that harmony and repose which he
regards as essential to the idea of the beautiful.

The group usually called the “Menelaus and Patroclus” displays in equal
degree this balance between the expression of deep emotion and the
perfect moderation which the Greeks regarded as the hall-mark of the
truly beautiful. The limitations incidental to marble as a medium for
emotional expression are borne in mind. There is no effort to force the
note of pathos.


THE AGE OF PRAXITELES (360 B.C.-325 B.C.)

If Scopas may be regarded as the first Greek to realise that marble and
bronze could express the more passionate intensity of feeling which
naturally followed the increasing importance of the individual and the
individual’s thoughts and emotions, his successor, Praxiteles, must
be associated with the second great characteristic of fourth-century
sculpture—its lyrical appeal. Greek sculpture had been epic. It
had concerned itself with the heroic myths of the race. But as art
became every year less a matter of communal concern, it began to voice
the growing self-assertion of the individual Greek. In other words,
sculpture became lyric.

Almost any fourth-century work would illustrate what we mean, but a
beautiful practical example is furnished from the history of Attic
sepulchral sculpture.

Any visitor to Athens will remember the numerous dedicatory reliefs,
chapels and memorial stelæ still to be seen _in situ_ in the Ceramicus,
the cemetery near the Dipylon Gate. Reconstructing the scene at
the time of Praxiteles, we must imagine the roads leading from the
principal city gates as flanked with such sculptured memorials of the
dead. The Sacred Way to Eleusis, for instance, became a favourite site.

To-day the Ceramicus is in ruins, but its monuments still present some
of the finest examples of original Hellenic sculpture extant. There is
the famous “Relief of Dexileus.” It depicts with magnificent vigour an
Athenian cavalry-man, triumphing over a prostrate foe. Dexileus died
in the war which Athens waged unsuccessfully with the Corinthians, so
the monument dates from about 394 B.C., the time when the youthful
Scopas was at work upon the pedimental groups at Tegea. The beautiful
work often called the “Death of Socrates” is only a few years earlier
in date. The connection with Socrates is, of course, apocryphal, the
subject really being an Athenian pouring a libation. At the other
side is the wife, absorbed as was the wont of Athenian wives in some
domestic interest—her dress, or her jewellery. The third figure is a
young slave holding the vessel filled with wine.

[Illustration: “THE DEXILEUS RELIEF” Ceramicus, Athens]

Neither of the works memorialises any great political or social figure.
Nothing could well be more individualistic than a monument erected
to an unknown man by his friends or relations. Dating from about 400
B.C., both belong to an age when sculpture was divorcing itself from
its close alliance with the State. But the point to be realised is that
a few years earlier such works would have been impossible. Sculptors
of such power would not have been at the service of mere individuals,
however wealthy. Cicero (“De Legibus,” ii. 26) tells that in the
period after Solon’s death, the Athenians legislated against elaborate
monuments in such cemeteries as the Ceramicus. No tomb was permitted
unless it could be made by ten men in three days.

For many years public opinion approved of these sumptuary laws. It
was only when the fifth century was well advanced that they fell into
disuse. Even then the transition was gradual. The sepulchral monuments
were small and stonemasons only were employed. In the fourth century,
however, the best known sculptors accepted such commissions. Pausanias,
describing the antiquities near the Piræus Gate, says, for instance:
“Not far from the gates is a tomb, whereon stands a soldier standing by
his horse; who he was I know not, but it was Praxiteles who made both
man and horse.”

But the tendency towards an increased interest in the needs of the
individual citizen is even more strongly exemplified by the growth of
home life. Home life had been sacrificed to public life in the age
of Themistocles and Pericles. The victors of Salamis lived in small
houses, which were particularly dark and uncomfortable owing to the
lack of glass. The poorer citizens lived in a single “cella.” Families
of moderate means had two sets of rooms, the upper floor for the women,
and the lower set apart for the men. In the fifth century only a few
rich men could afford the series of rooms grouped round the two courts
which enabled the wealthy Athenian to receive his friends and enjoy
some of the privileges of home life. Under the circumstances, we cannot
wonder that the Greek left his home early and preferred the gymnasium
or the market-place, the law courts or the covered corridors. A few
met in the courtyards of their friends but, as a whole, social life in
Athens was public.

In the fourth century, however, the richer members of the community
began to build magnificent houses in the suburbs of Athens. Attempts
at decorating the interiors followed as a matter of course. It is said
that Alcibiades was the first Athenian to try, calling in Agatharchus,
the painter, to his aid. The poorness of the light in the majority of
the houses doomed the painters’ efforts to failure, but the sculptor
had a better chance. His work could be used, at any rate, for the
decoration of the courtyards. He was employed to supply portrait
busts and a host of single figures, which, appealing as they did to
the individual taste alone, would have had no place in the art of the
preceding century.

The range of subjects was still further increased by the popular
sculptor being no longer chiefly engaged upon huge chryselephantine
statues of deities, in which it was manifestly impossible to depart far
from the popular types which had been fixed by sculptors like Phidias
and Polyclitus. Moreover, the sculptor was no longer compelled to spend
most of his time in filling a triangular pediment, a square metope,
or shaping his design to the long narrow frieze. The consequence was
the discovery of numbers of mythical subjects capable of objective
realisation in bronze and marble.

The “Hermes” is a beautiful example of the use such a sculptor as
Praxiteles made of the new opportunities. The place it occupies in the
history of the art is unique. Whereas most sculptures of its class are
Roman copies, the “Hermes of Praxiteles” is an undoubted original.
The marble was found at Olympia in 1877 A.D., on the very spot where
Pausanias recorded having seen it. The find was preceded by the
identification of a dipteral temple with an Heraion (Temple of Hera)
also described by Pausanias. But this was of small interest compared
with the statue which the German excavators discovered embedded in a
fragment of wall. There was never any doubt as to its identity. It was
clearly “the Hermes of stone, carrying the infant Dionysus—a work
moreover by Praxiteles”—as Pausanias had recorded.

Every one has seen a cast of the statue. The god is carrying the
babe Dionysus to the nymphs. He has stopped for a moment’s rest and
is amusing his little charge, may be with a bunch of grapes held in
the right hand. The perfect grace of the figure and the pose are
essentially Praxitelean. The work illustrates the softer and more
sensuous manner of imaging the lesser divinities which arose in the
fourth century. In this case the youthful god in the flush of early
manhood must be contrasted with the “bearded” Hermes of the age of
Phidias. After the time of Praxiteles there was no reversion to the
earlier type. He did for Hermes and Apollo what Phidias and Polyclitus
had done for Zeus and Hera.

The influence of Praxiteles can be traced in a hundred kindred works
produced during the next few centuries. In particular, it led to a
fuller appreciation of the value of marble as a medium. Previously most
of these single male statues had been bronze. The use of marble in
turn led to increased technical skill. Take Praxiteles’ treatment of
the hair in the “Hermes,” for instance. Note the massing of the locks,
without an attempt at the realistic representation of the details,
and the skilful use of the play of light and shade which such free
treatment makes possible.


THE INFLUENCE OF GREEK WOMANHOOD

But even these factors, potent though they were, do not account for the
whole of the increased scope afforded to the fourth-century sculptor.
We have passed in review various circumstances, political, economic,
intellectual and moral. But we have said nothing of a good half of
Greek society—the women. Yet the influence exerted by the fairer
sex, negatively upon fifth-century, positively upon fourth-century,
sculpture was all-important. It must not be overlooked if we would gain
a complete understanding of either phase of Hellenic art.

Speaking generally, women occupied a place in Greek society which
cannot be readily illustrated from our modern experience. The earliest
Greek women is pictured in the pages of Homer. The typical wife is
Penelope; the typical virgin is Nausicaa. To Homer, the wife is the
trusted friend of her husband. The current belief is that

    “The woman’s cause is man’s: they rise or sink
     Together, dwarf’d or god-like, bond or free.”

[Illustration: HERMES OF PRAXITELES (DETAIL) Olympia]

But prosperity brought a change. At the time of the rise of
sculpture—in the early days of Pericles—the interests of the citizens
were entirely political. At no time, perhaps, in the history of the
world have men and women had so little in common. The duty of an
Athenian wife was to stay at home, to order the house economically,
and to control the numerous slaves. Wedded, perhaps at fifteen,
after a childhood spent in strict seclusion, she could not hope to
be a companion to the active-minded Athenian. “The best woman,” said
Thucydides, “is she of whom least is said, either in the way of good or
harm.”

Towards the end of the fifth century, the political interests became
less absorbing, as we have seen. Private affairs began to occupy the
major part of the wealthy citizen’s time. It might have been expected
that the Athenian wife would have been gradually reinstated in the
position of intimate companionship she had occupied before city life
became general. But the custom of centuries was too firmly rooted. When
the Athenian once more looked for the pleasures that might arise from
social contact with his womenfolk he found his wife entirely without
charm.

Naturally enough he turned to the Hetaerae. The word is too thoroughly
Hellenic to be translated. Demosthenes distinguished the class from the
rest of the Athenian women when he said:

“By means of wives we become the fathers of legitimate children and
maintain faithful guardians of our homes; the Hetaerae are meant to
promote the enjoyment of life.”

The “female friends” were usually captives made in war or, at any rate,
strangers who found Athens a convenient market for their physical and
intellectual charms. Few Athenian women dared to join their ranks.
Every Hetaera was an expert dancer. She could play on the flute or
lyre. Her wealth was often considerable. The boast of Phryne—the
greatest feminine influence of her day in Greece—did not appear
absolutely beyond reason. Yet the courtesan offered to rebuild the
walls of Athens at her own cost. Not infrequently the Hetaera’s mental
culture was sufficient to enable her to consort with the greatest
philosophers and statesmen. Pericles himself imperilled his position in
the State by his dealings with Aspasia.

We are not called upon to pass judgment upon these social customs. Our
task is rather to estimate the influence of such a state of society
upon the child of his time—the artist. Looking the facts in the face,
we have simply to note that the old demand for manly vigour and civic
unselfishness was giving place to a far less strenuous ideal. The
Athenians could applaud a Phryne who at a festival at Eleusis, let down
her hair and descended into the sea in the sight of all the Greeks,
after the manner of a sea-born Aphrodite. Instead of Zeus and Hera, men
looked to Dionysus, the leader of the revels; to Apollo, the chief of
the Muses; to Aphrodite, the Queen of Desire, who held in her cestus
all the magic of passion.

The greatness of an artist does not rest upon opposition offered to
current civic and social ideals. On the contrary, it depends entirely
upon the perfect expression which he gives to the body of emotions
experienced by the men and women around him. The fame of Praxiteles is
due to his complete identification with the paramount influences of his
age. A true Athenian, the refined sensuality of his style picked him
out as the artist to give objective form to the popular imaginations.

[Illustration: THE EROS OF CENTOCELLE Vatican, Rome]

Praxiteles himself was closely associated with the Hetaera, Phryne.
One of his most renowned works was the “Eros” which he carved as the
artistic expression of his love for the beautiful courtesan, and which
was dedicated by Phryne at Thespiae about 360 B.C. The Epigrammatist
said of the Thespian “Eros” that it “excited transports of love by
hurling, not darts, but glances.” There have been many attempts to
identify this statue with marbles that have come down to us. It has
been often suggested that the beautiful torso found at Centocelle,
and now in the Vatican, may be a copy. Without dogmatising, we can
realise some of the qualities of Praxitelean art from the “Eros of
Centocelle.” We can see the dreamy melancholy with which the artist no
doubt invested the graceful and tender form of the God of Love. It is
strongly typical of the Praxitelean imagination that Eros is depicted
as on the very verge of youth, at the dawn of the first forebodings of
passion.

Praxiteles’ “Aphrodite of Cnidus” is equally associated with the memory
of the Hetaera, Phryne. Originally executed for the islanders of Cos,
it was refused by them on account of the daring manner in which the
sculptor had imaged the goddess—a manner which can be realised from
the epigram to which it gave rise.

“The Paphian Cytherea went down to the waters of Cnidus desiring to
behold her own image; having beheld it, ‘Alas! Alas!’ she cried, ‘where
did Praxiteles behold me thus? I thought only three persons, Paris,
Anchises, and Adonis had done so.’”

The people of Cnidus differed from their brothers of Cos. As Pliny
suggests, their acceptance of the statue made their island famous.
The marble was placed in the centre of a grove of myrtle, and was
approached by several paths so that it could be viewed from every side.
The Vatican replica of the Aphrodite is the best known copy of the
work. It is, however, at present disfigured by the addition of metal
drapery which the taste of the last century considered necessary. The
Praxitelean design can be realised from the copy at the Glyptothek,
Munich, originally in the Palace Braschi. There is also an undraped
cast of the Vatican statue in the Victoria and Albert Museum, South
Kensington. Our own illustration is from a photo of the Vatican copy
taken for the Hellenic Society many years ago.

To the people of Cnidus, the statue was not marble white. The eyes
and hair of the goddess were coloured. The drapery and the flesh
were delicately tinted. In exactly what manner this was done, we do
not know. That such statues were painted is beyond argument. Pliny
tells that the painter Nicias assisted Praxiteles. He suggests that
the sculptor considered the encaustic additions of prime importance
and necessitating the greatest skill. Whatever the purpose of this
colouring of statues may have been, it is certain that there was no
effort to secure greater realism by this addition. The desire seems to
have been to soften the harsher tones of the marble and to increase the
decorative effect of the statue by distinguishing the principal masses
of the composition.

For hundreds of years after it was set up in the myrtle grove in
Cnidus, the “Aphrodite” was the most renowned statue in Western Europe.
This can only be attributed to the exquisite sense of artistic fitness
with which Praxiteles carried out his task, together with the fact
that he had enshrined in marble one of the ever potent human passions.
Phryne had been Praxiteles’ model. But the statue was by no means a
realistic presentation of the erotic beauties of the Hetaera. No fault
can be found with Praxiteles’ treatment of his theme on that ground.

[Illustration: APHRODITE OF CNIDUS Vatican, Rome]

Nevertheless the representation of a goddess in the guise of a woman
shrinking from the revelation of her beauty to mankind argues the loss
of a certain morality. True, the Greek sculptor had never aimed at the
inculcation of moral ideas. But in an age before the religious sense
of the Greek had become dulled, he would have confined himself to the
creation of an atmosphere in which moral ideas could range without
friction. The “Aphrodite of Cnidus” belongs to a time which made no
such demand upon its artists. The sculptor no longer believed that he
owed a duty to the state in this particular respect. Every work now
stood or fell by virtue of its innate truth and beauty.

But Praxiteles was in no sense “a brilliant exponent of decadent art.”
On the contrary, his sculptures bear witness to perhaps the most
magnificent endowment of the Attic brain—the fineness with which it
felt. To-day, we are too apt to regard clarity of thought as the chief
attribute of genius. Really genius depends upon the power to call
up delicate tones of feeling, of infinite subtlety of texture when
compared with the ideas which we often regard as its sole endowment.

Praxiteles has been described as “He who actually blended with his
marbles the emotions of the soul.” The phrase is a fitting one with
which to close our review of his art. His abiding greatness depends
less upon sheer beauty of line than upon the delicacy of the feelings
which he made marble convey. The play of the passing emotion on the
face of the “Hermes,” the dreamy passion of the “Eros,” and the
illusive charm with which the “Aphrodite of Cnidus” shrinks from
the revelation of her beauty—these are typical of what is most
characteristic in the sculpture of Praxiteles and his fellow workers.
He _felt_ the emotional appeal of the feminine and the youthful male
form rather than _saw_ the beauties of line displayed in the new
subjects offered for sculptural treatment. It is far from true that
the Greek sculptor generally sought for beauty of form to the neglect
of all the varied charm that lies in intellectual and emotional
expression. This might be said of Phidias and Polyclitus. The insight
of the sculptors of the following century into the depths of human
emotion, on the contrary, was infinite. Scopas and Praxiteles made
marble speak the more delicate emotions of the soul to the last word.



CHAPTER IV

LYSIPPUS AND THE FOURTH-CENTURY REALISTS WITH A NOTE ON MODERN
SCULPTURAL CRITICISM


It needs little knowledge of human nature to realise that the
idealisation of sensuous passion, which was the keynote of the art
of Praxiteles, could not express the whole nature of a composite
civilisation, and particularly the whole nature of a civilisation great
enough to mother an Alexander and a Demosthenes. The presence of a more
strenuous ideal was inevitable. The body social in this respect closely
resembles the individual. To the individual, merely sensual pleasure is
rarely entirely absorbing. It is a matter of hours, weeks—months, it
may be, then the impulse weakens, and

    “Like the snow-falls in the river,
     A moment white—then melts for ever!”

It would, therefore, have been possible to diagnose the presence of the
colder and more self-contained art hard by the warmly glowing art of
Praxiteles.

It is to be found in a large class of sculptures which we shall
designate as Lysippic. These contain strongly marked characteristics,
and a moment’s consideration will show that they must be traced to
a social opinion entirely different to that pervading such works as
the “Olympian Hermes,” the “Aphrodite of Cnidus,” and the “Eros of
Centocelle.”

But if a school of sculpture opposed to that of Praxiteles was an
artistic necessity, a reaction against the social circumstances which
had rendered a Praxiteles possible was equally sure. The art change
indeed witnesses to the social revolution; the social change to the
artistic.

Nor is the reaction in any sense the result of a merely passive
objection to a dangerous method of living and feeling. Athens was
impelled by misfortune into adopting sounder ideals. Such an incident
as the sack of the shops in the Piræus by the pirate vessels of
Alexander of Pheræ after the battle of Mantinea (362 B.C.) had
rudely shaken the self-confidence of the Athenians. At the time, the
outrage led to no more vigorous step than the exiling of the Athenian
statesman, Callistratus. But these rebuffs reached a climax in 338
B.C. when Thebes and Athens were routed by Philip and Alexander at
Chæronea. The impossible had happened. With the victory of Chæronea,
the hegemony of Greece had passed to Macedonia—a non-Greek power. The
Athenians prepared for root and branch reform. As if to justify the
taunt of Demosthenes, “the administration has risen from beggary to
wealth, while the Treasury wants sustenance for one day’s march,” such
an incorruptible as Lycurgus was elected to the Ministry of the Public
Revenue. What is more he was permitted to act. The Navy was increased
to 400 galleys. The marble store-house for ships’ gear (the Skeuotheke
of Philo) was completed. With grim irony, the cases that lined the
triple-aisled arcades were left open for public inspection, “that those
who passed might see all the gear in the gear-house.”

It was almost a century since the seeds of decay had been sown in the
city-state system. It needed no Demosthenes to prove that with all
its faults it was to this system that Athens owed its most enduring
glories. It had developed the powers of the citizens to the greatest
extent. Faced with the possibility of the absolute monarchy embodied in
the power of Macedonia triumphing over the free commonwealth, Athens
naturally looked to the past. The rule of Phocion and Lycurgus was the
result. It was marked by a closer return to the ideals of the fifth
century than had prevailed in Athens since the death of Pericles,
a century earlier. Many of the old shrines were restored, and the
theatre of Dionysus rebuilt. Aided by the produce of the silver mines
of Laurion, Lycurgus was able to rebuild the Lycæan gymnasium and
construct the Panathenaic stadion.

But an even more signal proof of the reaction against the selfish
policy of the previous fifty years is to be found in the effort made
to rid Athens of the mercenary system which was sapping the military
strength of the state. After Chæronea the youth of Athens was once
more trained to arms. Young men had to serve the state for at least
two years. These Epheboi, under the direction of a marshal and ten
masters of discipline, wore a common uniform, lived together and dined
frugally at a common mess. The system was almost Spartan in its simple
temperance. The Epheboi were trained in the exercises of the hoplite.
At the end of the first half of their training they gave a public
exhibition of athletic and military skill in the Athenian theatre. The
ministry of Lycurgus between 338 and 326 B.C. was not a second golden
age for Athens. But it was a faithful copy. There was, at least, a
partial return to the good old times when Athenian lads ran races
under the sacred olives, redolent of convolvulus and whitening poplar,
“rejoicing in the sweet o’ the year when the plane-tree whispers to the
elm.”

It was in a world dominated by these ideals that Lysippus (roughly
375 B.C. to 300 B.C.), the last of the great Greek sculptors, worked.
In place of the less virile type favoured by the age of Praxiteles he
aimed at the expression of natural manly beauty. Lysippus moulded his
style upon that of Polyclitus. Like Polyclitus, he preferred to work in
bronze. The preference is typical of his departure from the style of
the Athenian artists who had dominated sculpture during the forty years
before Chæronea. Marble had proved the very medium for the portrayal
of the softer graces of the human form and the delicate expression
of emotion. But it was inadequate for the representation of the more
vigorous human forms which Lysippus sought to portray.

Lysippus, however, was no blind follower of Polyclitus. It is narrated
that he once said, “Polyclitus made men as they were, but I make them
as they appear to the eye.” Lysippus added the truth of expression
which the beautifully symmetrical but impassive figures of Polyclitus
lacked. He aimed at imparting to his figures a lightness that those of
the Argive sculptor wanted.

The Vatican “Apoxyomenus” is without doubt the finest statue extant
embodying these tendencies. This fine marble was excavated in April
1849 from among the ruins of a large private house in the Vicolo delle
Palme in Transtevere. It is doubtless a marble copy of the bronze which
was one of the most popular works of art in Rome during the Empire. In
the bronze original the supports which are necessary for the marble
copy were absent.

[Illustration: MELEAGER Vatican, Rome]

[Illustration: APOXYOMENUS (SCHOOL OF LYSIPPUS) Vatican, Rome]

But what strikes us first is not the resemblance to the athletic
sculptures of Polyclitus, but the marked difference. The subject is of
the _genre_ order, which in itself denotes a change. Wrestlers were
wont to anoint their bodies with oil and besprinkle themselves with
fine sand in order to afford a firm grip. Here we see the athlete
scraping the oil-soaked sand from his limbs with a strigil.

But the difference goes still deeper. A physique that would serve the
State in good stead at any moment was clearly _the_ essential to the
youth who posed for the “Diadumenus” of Polyclitus. Above all, there
was no suggestion of training for a single event. The “Apoxyomenus,”
on the contrary, rather recalls the system of our own day, in which
particular muscle, rather than balanced strength, is the prime
desideratum. To-day the athlete never loses sight of the fact that a
definite contest has to be won on a fixed date. Mr. K. T. Frost, in a
delightful criticism of the “Apoxyomenus” from the point of view of
the athletic anatomist, couples the work with the well-known “Fighting
Warrior” of Agasias, now in the Louvre. “Both,” he says, “have the
physical characteristics which we associate with the thoroughbred.”
Comparing them with other Greek athletic statues, he shows that the
back and trunk in the earlier works depend for strength upon the
general solidity of the frame, not on specially developed muscles.
This, as he proves, is not the case with the “Apoxyomenus,” though
the steel-like tendons and sinews prevent the resulting slimness from
suggesting any lack of power.


MODERN SCULPTURAL CRITICISM

The “Apoxyomenus,” since its discovery in 1849, has always been
associated with the name of Lysippus. It certainly shows all the
features which are usually associated with his style, including the
small head, the long limbs, and the life-like animation which he strove
to express in his figures.

The attribution of these characteristics originally depended upon
the interpretation placed upon various references to Lysippus in the
classical authors. A passage in Pliny, for instance, speaks of his
“Constantia,” and seems to suggest that a sleepless regard for truth in
detail was a prime feature of the Lysippic style. When we add to this
the passages relating to his pupils, we can scarcely fail to regard
Lysippus as the founder of the realistic school, which was opposed
throughout the Hellenistic age to the more fanciful and idealistic art
based upon the marbles of Praxiteles. When we come to the consideration
of the portraits of the Lysippic school, we shall see that realism
to Lysippus did not mean exactitude to life. He always sought to add
that rhythmic beauty which Nature never supplies, but which every true
artist, and especially every great Greek sculptor, is persuaded lies at
the root of art.

It was upon such evidence as this that the “Apoxyomenus” was attributed
to Lysippus. Practically all the well-known and frequently copied
sculptures are attributed to the famous sculptors of antiquity upon
similar grounds.

In recent years, however, the archæologists have sought to introduce a
supplementary method whereby the authorship of well-known sculptures
may be verified. The method depends upon the minute examination
of pieces of sculpture and the tabulation of their technical
peculiarities. The eye or the ear, the nostril or the chin of a statue,
and especially of a Greek original, speaks volumes to the scientific
critic. Aided by a collection of prints, he arranges sculptures from
any of the European collections into classes. The hint of a date
enables him provisionally to associate a class with a well-known
craftsman, and the identification of the authorship of masterpieces
begins.

Criticism of this kind looms largely in the literature of sculpture
in these days. Even the amateur who is interested in art rather than
archæology must, therefore, have a clear idea of the type of evidence
leading to the ascription of well-known sculptures to particular
artists. Almost any famous work would serve to illustrate this.
Critical struggles, for instance, have waged around the “Venus of
Milo.” Is it a fourth-century work, or can it be roughly dated at 150
B.C.? We have also referred to the critical mystery surrounding the
authorship of the “Niobides.”

We, however, choose for the purpose of illustrating our point,
two famous works now in the Vatican—“The Ares Ludovisi” and
the “Meleager.” Both are generally acknowledged to be copies of
fourth-century sculptures of the finest quality. Neither possesses the
strongly marked characteristics of the style of Praxiteles; nor do they
resemble the “Apoxyomenus.” Are they then to be ascribed to Scopas?
That is the critical problem.

The “Ares” depicts the war-god as a youth. This is a fourth-century
variation from the robust, bearded, and fully armed type of an earlier
period. Ares is pondering fresh feats of arms. Or may be, as the Roman
copyist suggests by the introduction of the tiny Eros, he is solving
some deep amatory problem set him by Aphrodite. At first sight the
“Ares” seems to be by a sculptor who has imbibed some of the spirit of
both Scopas and Praxiteles. The sentiment strikes us as Praxitelean,
the expression rather suggests Scopas. Leubke, noting the length of
the limbs, says that the “Ares Ludovisi” reminds him of the style of
Lysippus. Dr. Waldstein, however, will have none of this. He insists
upon the claims of Scopas. To Dr. Waldstein, the overhanging brow
which gives the pensive expression to the “Apoxyomenus” is _the_
characteristic of Lysippus. Its absence compels him to refer the “Ares”
to Scopas. It all depends upon a wrinkle. Needless to say, we do not
propose to decide where doctors disagree.

But the archæological method can be illustrated even more happily by
the critical history of the Vatican “Meleager.” The stripling stands
with his dog, careless of any danger which the future may have in
store. The artist would seem to represent a youthful huntsman impatient
for his quarry, rather than the trusty hero who sailed with the
Argonauts and freed the chace of Calydon from the devastating boar of
Artemis. As is the case with most of the well-known Greek sculptures,
no signature or inscription connects it with any particular artist. The
exceptional evidence present in the case of the “Hermes” of Praxiteles
is, as we shall see, also absent. The first clue comes from the pages
of Pausanias, who names Scopas as the architect of the temple of Athena
Alea at Tegea, and speaks of him as the sculptor of the pedimental
groups. Pausanias goes on to describe the marbles, and gives a list of
the figures in the eastern pediment whereon was figured, as he says,
“The hunting of the Calydonian boar.” These facts, together with the
emotional character of the “Meleager,” justified the statue being
associated with the sculptor of the Tegean group.

But the evidence did not end here. During recent excavations, two
heads, which had evidently fallen from the eastern pediment, were
discovered. (“Journal Hellenic Studies,” vol. xv.) They showed the
passionate insistence upon vitality, particularly in the intensity of
the gaze of the eyes, which we have already noted in the “Mausoleum
Charioteer,” and which certainly characterises the “Meleager” at Rome.

Here was fair material for a dogmatic superstructure of really
imposing dimensions. The scientific critic had, of course, to seek
for further instances of the sharply rounded eyeballs. He had to find
other cases in which the intensity of expression was clearly due to
the deep setting of the eyes. Upon the results of these researches he
could assign a certain number of the sculptures to Scopas, and by a
process of exhaustion many another fourth-century work to the numerous
sculptors mentioned in Pliny and Pausanias. So far all was plain
sailing. The attributions were admittedly risky, but the interest of
the results seemed to justify the method.

Unfortunately the matter did not end here. While one party of
excavators was working at Tegea, another party was unearthing a
disconcerting inscription elsewhere. This suggested that a statue
known as the “Agias,” a figure of an athlete found at Delphi, was
a marble copy of a work by Lysippus. The discovery necessitated a
fresh examination of fourth-century works, and as a result, such an
authority as Mr. Percy Gardner now feels compelled to doubt whether the
“Meleager” can be properly associated with the influence of Scopas any
longer. Guided by resemblances to the “Agias,” he suggests that the
“Meleager” is much more probably after a work by Lysippus.

But again the critical argument takes a fresh lease. For the “Agias” is
found to resemble strongly the “Heracles” at Lansdowne House. Moreover,
since neither possesses any of the strongly marked characteristics
of the “Apoxyomenus,” doubt is thrown upon the generally accepted
attribution of that statue to Lysippus. What is the alternative? Mr.
Percy Gardner has a suggestion at once. He turns to his Pliny (“Nat.
Hist.” xxxiv. 87). The “‘Apoxyomenus’ is not a genuine fourth-century
work; it is rather Hellenistic,” says he; “it may well be a copy of the
Perixyomenus of Diappus, the son or pupil of Lysippus.”

We do not refer to the battle of the critics over Scopas, Praxiteles,
and Lysippus at this length on account of the intrinsic value of the
critical spoils. On the contrary, the value of the accumulation of
evidence seems to us to be entirely negative. We are far from wishing
to depreciate the value of such researches, but candour compels us
to remind the amateur that the modern methods of critical research
are full of pitfalls. One can scarcely steer too far from the hasty
generalisation which can be so readily drawn from the necessarily
flimsy evidence upon which the archæologist is compelled to rely.

[Illustration: “SARCOPHAGUS OF ALEXANDER” Constantinople]

For ourselves we prefer to regard the work of the critical school
as scaffolding which will doubtless lead to a permanent erection of
ascertained fact. The “Ares,” the “Meleager,” and the “Apoxyomenus” may
be neither by Scopas nor Lysippus. It is sufficient if we can honestly
detect in them the general characteristics of particular phases of
fourth-century sculpture. The “Mausoleum Charioteer,” the “Menelaus and
Patroclus,” and the “Niobe” group may none of them be the actual design
or handiwork of Scopas. We cannot do more than detect in them the
general characteristics of the period in which Scopas was a dominating
influence. But there must have been a personality to popularise the
new style—a brain and hand through whom the new artistic tendency
first found expression. With all the reservations that these remarks
imply, we give this personality the name of Scopas, and, as we said
before, regard him as the first Greek to realise that marble and
bronze could express the more passionate intensity of feeling which
naturally followed the increasing importance of the individual and the
individual’s thoughts and emotions.

So with Lysippus. The individual is not an essential element in the
history of Greek sculpture. If he never lived, another sculptor “of the
same name” gave plastic expression to the more realistic ideals aroused
by the triumph of Macedonia. Some master inaugurated the realistic
school, which persisted beside the idealistic, based upon the art of
Praxiteles. Whether Lysippus, Diappus, or an unknown sculptor of the
Hellenistic school moulded the “Apoxyomenus” is of small consequence.
Moreover, when all is said and done, there is not much to choose
between this position and that of Mr. Percy Gardner himself. As Mr.
Frost has pointed out, the length of limb and lightness of frame seen
in the “Apoxyomenus” are only the tendencies of the “Agias” carried
a step further. When Mr. Percy Gardner goes on to suggest that the
Vatican statue is not by the master but by the pupil, he practically
accepts the general view we hold. Barring the “Hermes” of Praxiteles,
it is practically impossible to attribute dogmatically any of the
Hellenic sculptures to the craftsmanship of particular artists.
Inscriptions, literary references, and further Greek originals, or
Roman copies, may yet be found. For the present, the art lover will do
well to content himself with realising the methods which the critical
schools have adopted, and the path by which it seeks answers to the
high problems it desires to solve.

We cannot pass from our consideration of the last effort of Hellenic
sculpture proper without a reference to one other work associated
with the Lysippic period. We mean the magnificent sarcophagus now at
Constantinople, and sometimes called the “Sarcophagus of Alexander.”
This is clearly a Greek original produced about 300 B.C. It was found
early in the last decade in the family vault of a Sidonian king at
Saida, with several sarcophagi of the finest style. Those who cannot
see the original, can gain a clear idea of the great work from the
magnificent publication issued by Hamdi Bey, the discoverer, entitled
“Une Necropole Royale de Sidon,” of which the British Museum possesses
a copy. All sides of the sarcophagus are decorated with a wealth of
sculptured design and ornament. Macedonians, Greeks, and Persians
all take part in the scenes of battle and chase represented by the
sculptor. The work is in the finest preservation. The silver bridles
and weapons have been removed, but in all other respects it is perfect.
One head is missing but this is due to an accident since its discovery.
Even the original colours can be traced. Indeed, any one wishing to
obtain a clear idea of the use the Greeks made of colour in sculpture
cannot do better than study the fine coloured plates picturing the
“Sarcophagus of Alexander” prepared for Hamdi Bey.

[Illustration: “PHOCION” Vatican, Rome]


GREEK PORTRAITURE

So far few references to the portrait sculptures of Greece either
in the fifth or fourth century have been necessary. We have now,
however, to redeem the promise to make clear the use Lysippus and
his school made of realistic detail in this department of art. The
opportunity suggests a few general remarks upon Hellenic portrait
sculpture generally. Before the latter half of the fourth century
there was no portraiture in Greece, in the modern sense of the word.
That is to say, the sculptor made no effort to produce a realistic
representation of the sitter. He rather sought to present a type
suggested by the individual. Take, for instance, the British Museum
bust of “Pericles”—probably a copy of the statue by Cresilas dedicated
after the revolt of Samos (440 B.C.). This stood on the Acropolis,
hard by the Lemnian “Athena” of Phidias, on the right-hand side as
the Athenian passed up through the Propylæa. Even such a well-known
figure as the warrior statesman is not highly individualised. The
clear-cut brow and the broad mouth tell of the profound judgment and
sober will needful to the man who gave Athenian policy its deepest
and most imaginative characteristics. The voluptuous lips tell of the
passionate emotionalism which brought Pericles into sympathy with his
fellow countrymen, and which every true Athenian would have considered
it inhuman to crush. But these characteristics are rather those of the
ideal statesman which the Athenian system sought to produce. Every
trait applicable to Pericles alone has been removed.

Much the same may be said of the well-known “Sophocles,” or the
so-called “Phocion” in the Vatican, two of the finest Greek portraits
of the best style extant. Both have all the strongly idealistic
qualities of Hellenic portraiture before the Alexandrian age. Neither
the “Sophocles” nor the “Phocion” can be termed portraits in the sense
that the Roman busts are portraits. Both represent ideal types rather
than individual personalities. The Greek thinker desired to look at
everything from the universal point of view. He sought to form general
abstract conceptions about humanity and nature, applicable to any
and every part of the universe. The task of the Greek sculptor was,
therefore, to produce figures embodying these types. Phocion was to
him the incorruptible statesman. Sophocles was the typical Athenian
gentleman—sound in body as in mind.

So when Lysippus set out to carve a portrait statue such as that
preserved in the marble bust of “Alexander” in the British Museum, he
did not picture the man or the king of Macedon, but the descendant of
Achilles, whose mission it was to conquer the world. He abstracted
every trait that endured but for the moment, and sought only to
express the heroic side of the Macedonian character. Plutarch (“Life
of Alexander”) tells of the impression this method made upon Alexander
himself. We read:

“When Lysippus first made a portrait of Alexander with his countenance
uplifted to heaven, just as Alexander was wont to gaze with his neck
gently inclined to one side, some one wrote the following note in
appropriate epigram:

‘The man of bronze is as one that looks on Zeus, and will address him
thus: “O Zeus, I place earth beneath my feet, do thou rule Olympus.”’

[Illustration: PERICLES Vatican, Rome]

[Illustration: ALEXANDER After Lysippus]

“For this reason Alexander gave orders that only Lysippus should make
portraits of him, since he alone, as it would seem, truly revealed
his nature in bronze and portrayed his courage in visible form, while
others in their anxiety to reproduce the bend of the neck, and the
melting look of the eyes, failed to preserve his masculine and leonine
aspect.”

The portraits of Lysippus therefore differ from such an ideal figure
as the “Pericles” in the skilful use made of realism. The portrait is
cast in an heroic mould, but this is not obtained at the expense of all
likeness. Note the way in which the peculiar eyes of the king and the
turn of his neck have been utilised.

The change was not entirely for the better. The passage from Plutarch
itself suggests where an artist of less than the front rank would fail.
The followers of Lysippus were not content to make this sparing use
of detail. Forgetful that general truths and general emotions can be
embodied in marble and bronze most clearly and therefore most properly,
they made realistic detail an end in itself. Pliny tells of Lysistratus
of Sicyon, a brother of Lysippus, and says that he introduced the
practice of “life-like portraiture,” previous artists having sought
“to accentuate the more beautiful qualities of the sitter.” From this
it was but a step to the work of Demetrius of Alopece, whose portraits
were so realistic that Lucian called him “the maker of men” rather than
the “maker of statues.”

Lucian’s phrase reminds us that we have brought our survey of Hellenic
sculpture to a close. The downfall of the city-state system militated
against those habits of thought which ever aimed at eliminating
every trait applicable to the individual object, and which were so
essentially Hellenic. When the aristocratic or monarchical rule of
the country-state was substituted, the rural voter no longer troubled
to exercise his franchise. He left the duty of recording a vote to
the townsmen on the spot. The earlier constant contact with actuality
became a thing of the past.

Speaking of the essential quality of Greek sculpture, Pater has said:

“Hellenic breadth and generality come of a culture, minute, severe,
constantly renewed, and concentrating its impressions into certain
pregnant types.”

These words exactly describe the relation of Greek sculpture to general
culture during the fifth and fourth centuries. When Greece failed to
withstand Macedonia, the entire current of social and political life
changed. A culture which had been Hellenic became Hellenistic.



PART II

HELLENISTIC AND ROMAN SCULPTURE



CHAPTER V

THE POST-ALEXANDRIAN ART OF THE EMPIRE OF SELEUCUS, THE KINGDOM OF
PERGAMUS, RHODES, AND ALEXANDRIA


The life story of an idea—the flower of the spiritual world—presents
many analogies to the vital phenomena of the natural world. It is born,
it lives and, maybe, it suffers the “sea-change” we call death. There
are the weeks, months, or years which correspond to the time when the
flowers are in their tiring rooms,

    “Fast busy, weaving, in those still retreats,
     The robes of rainbow dyes, which they must wear.”

Then, with the idea as with the flower, comes the day when Spring,

    “Fast running o’er the drowsy earth,
     Taps at the closed portals of their homes,
     And calls them forth, fresh perfumed and new clad,
     To the festival of Nature.”

And after the flower comes the seed and the scattering of the seed.

The blossoming time of the idea which we saw in bud three centuries
earlier—Hellenism—was the age during which Hellas consisted of a
cluster of self-dependent cities in Greece, with their free colonies
in Sicily, Italy, Asia Minor and elsewhere around the Mediterranean
basin. Phidias, Praxiteles, and Lysippus were the sculptors of the age
when Athens was still the centre of Greek intellectual thought and
artistic action. The seedtime of Hellenism—its second phase—is that
in which the Hellenic ideal is given to mankind. Magna Græcia is no
longer self-centred and self-contained. The Greek takes upon himself
the task of showing the barbarian world the value of that clarity
of thought and expression which is at once peculiarly Hellenic and
peculiarly sculpturesque.

This second phase is the Hellenistic period. It roughly dates from 323
B.C., when Alexander died, until the Roman occupation of Syria in the
first century before our era. During this period independent schools
of sculpture arose beyond the Ægean Peninsula. These were animated in
the main by the Hellenic spirit, but the resulting works show abundant
traces of the alien influences among which the seed was planted and
grew up.

Previously, countries within reach of Greek influence turned to such
a centre as Athens when they required artists of the first rank to
design or decorate a temple or to adorn a public building. Moreover,
Greek ideals had never penetrated into the vast countries ruled by
Persia. But the union of the country between the Adriatic and the Indus
into one Hellenic-Oriental empire, and the foundation of Greek cities
throughout the length and breadth of the vast territory, changed all
this. Workers in marble and bronze of the first rank arose at centres
as remote from Greece as Pergamus and Alexandria. In Greece itself, the
peculiar conditions which had produced Hellenism passed away. But a
measure of the old artistic force remained, and though the Hellenistic
sculptures possess definite characteristics of their own, evidence of
connection with the original stock can still be traced.

The first task—the purpose of the present chapter—is to realise the
circumstances under which the experience of the Hellenic sculptor was
given to the non-Greeks.

The prime essential was, of course, an immense widening of the borders
of the Greek world. In view of our sketch of fourth-century Greece, it
is not surprising that the necessary energy came from a non-Hellenic
power. The rude force of a people, who a generation earlier had been
ploughmen and shepherds, was naturally enough more potent in the task
of carving the greater part of the then civilized world into a vast
empire, than the artistic instincts of Greece.

Nor is it wonderful that when the mere physical work of conquest
was accomplished, the non-Hellenic Macedonians were found to lack
the organising powers required to complete the task. They wanted
that experience which only comes after centuries of commercial and
political struggle. It was at once found that Macedonia was entirely
unequal to the work of administering Alexander’s vast empire. Thousands
of Athenian younger sons flocked into Asia in search of careers.
Twenty years after Alexander’s death, the language and art of Greece
predominated in every country from the Mediterranean to India.

In the more eastern portions of Alexander’s empire, the Greek
predominance was short-lived. But in the western countries, a sure
source of Hellenic influence was present in the cities founded by the
conqueror and the generals who followed him. Alexander’s policy had
been to bind the conquered provinces together by a stout chain of
cities. In each a garrison was left, and with it a body of merchants to
organize the civic life of the new town.


THE EMPIRE OF SELEUCUS (301 B.C. TO 65 B.C.)

No one centre is entirely typical, but a fair idea of the influences
which favoured the spread of Hellenic experience eastwards can be
gained from the history of the Empire of Seleucus, and, particularly,
from the circumstances under which the city of Antioch, on the Orontes,
was founded. Seleucus Nicator was a Macedonian noble, and being only
thirty-three on the death of Alexander had his life’s work before
him. After two years as commander of the household cavalry he became
Satrap in Babylon. It will be remembered that the general political
situation was unstable in the extreme. Macedonia and Greece had fallen
to the lot of Antipater; Antigonus had taken Phrygia; Ptolemy, Egypt;
and Lysimachus, Thrace. A series of encounters ended in the defeat of
Antigonus by Ptolemy, Lysimachus and Seleucus at Ipsus in 301 B.C. As
the price of his aid, Seleucus claimed firm establishment in a kingdom
bounded on the one side by the Taxartes and the other by the Euphrates.
But the star of Seleucus continued in the ascendant for many years. The
crowning-point in his career of conquest was reached after the defeat
of Lysimachus at Corupedion in 281 B.C. Seleucus at this time held
practically the entire Empire of Alexander, except Egypt.

[Illustration: THE TYCHE OF ANTIOCH Vatican, Rome]

How then did Seleucus seek to administer this vast agglomeration of
peoples? Briefly he adopted the practice of Alexander. His schemes of
military aggrandizement were shot through and through with efforts for
the encouragement of commercial, scientific and artistic enterprises.
He created centres of Greek influence all over his Empire. The
foundation of Antioch, on the Orontes, furnishes a typical instance of
the method of the Seleucidæ.

Syria, the stretch of fertile country which bridges Europe and Asia as
well as Africa and Asia, was clearly the keystone of the empire which
Seleucus sought to establish. How could Syria be converted into an
Asian Macedonia? As a first step Seleucus planned three cities in the
Orontes Valley, through which the regular land-routes to Babylonia and
Persia passed. Seleucia, in Pieria, guarded the mouth of the Orontes.
Farther east was Apamea. At the spot where the Orontes ceased to be
navigable, Antioch arose. Seleucus peopled the new city with a mixed
population drawn largely from Macedonia and partly from Crete and
Cyprus. It became the first city in the western world at the time.

How close the contact with Greek ideas was in such a town as Antioch
can be judged from the famous Vatican marble known as the “Tyche of
Antioch.” The figure with the mural crown represents the tutelar
goddess of the city. Holding the symbols of fertility in her hand,
she sits upon the rocks above the Orontes. The sculptor, Eutychides
of Sicyon, has carried out his task with the reserve and appreciation
of formal effect which we should expect from a pupil or follower of
Lysippus. But the whole conception lacks the emotional force of a
really great Hellenic work. Comparing it with, say, the “Zeus Otricoli”
or the “Hera Ludovisi,” we feel that centuries of time separate the
two works. The “Tyche of Antioch” is a sound piece of work; it can
hardly be said to be profound. It has the graces of a blossom reared
in an alien soil. The sculptor is not working under the impulse of
an overpowering emotion. Indeed it is easy to see that the old civic
pride which had found vent in the Parthenon marbles was impossible
in the Seleucidean Empire. A vigorous political life was out of the
question in the semi-oriental kingdom. As rulers, the Seleucid princes
have been likened to Albanian chiefs. Their position certainly had
the smallest resemblance to the democratic tyrants of earlier Greece.
The coins of the Seleucid rulers prove that even the facial type soon
lost its Hellenic purity. The self-respect and self-control which had
kept the actions of an Athenian within bounds were lost. We read of
Antiochus IV. being carried by mummers into his own banqueting-hall
as “a swaddled figure,” until, “at the first note of the symphonia,
the figure started from its wrappings and there stood the king naked.”
Seeing that

    “Nothing other than a noble aim
     Up from its depths can stir humanity,”

it seems unnecessary to search further for an explanation of the
absence of a vigorous impulse seeking expression in sculpture in any
country controlled by the Seleucidæ.

[Illustration: THE DYING GAUL Capitoline Museum, Rome]

THE KINGDOM OF PERGAMUS (283 B.C. TO 133 B.C.)

But it was otherwise in the second great centre of Greek influence in
Asia Minor—the kingdom of Pergamus. The course of Pergamene history
led to one of those emotional outbursts which always find an outlet
in national action and often in art. In consequence, evidence remains
of a far greater body of sculptural achievement in Pergamus than we
find in the Empire of the Seleucidæ. Indeed, the force and originality
of Pergamene sculpture raises it far above any artistic effort of its
age. This will be granted directly we recall that “The Dying Gaul,” of
the Vatican, is a work in the finest Pergamene style. When Byron wrote
the two cantos in “Childe Harold” the statue was known as the “Dying
Gladiator.”

    “I see before me the gladiator lie:
     He leans upon his hand—his manly brow
     Consents to death, but conquers agony,
     And his droop’d head sinks gradually low—
     And through his side the last drops, ebbing slow.

       *       *       *       *       *

    He reck’d not of the life he lost nor prize,
    But where his rude hut by the Danube lay,
   _There_ were his young barbarians all at play,
   _There_ was their Dacian mother—he, their sire,
    Butchered to make a Roman holiday.”

We now know that the Pergamene sculptor sought to show one of his
country’s Gaulish enemies in the agony of death. The barbarian
sinks back on to the narrow shield of his race. At his side is his
battle-horn. Round his neck the Gallic torques. The shaggy eyebrows and
the matted hair all identify the figure with one of the rude savages
whom the Latin and Greek historians describe as fighting naked and
ignorant of the elements of military science.

Another work that undoubtedly belongs to the school of Pergamus is
the well-known group in the Villa Ludovisi, often called “Paetus and
Arria.” A more correct title is “The Gaul killing his Wife.” The
warrior realizes his defeat and has just plunged his sword into his
breast. He still supports the woman who sinks in death at his side. The
matted hair of the wife and the dress edged with fur are sufficient
proof of her race. But there is other evidence that “The Dying Gaul”
and the “Gaul killing his Wife” have a similar origin. Both appear
together in an inventory of Cardinal Ludovisi, dated 1633. Both are
made from a marble found on the island of Furni near Samos. It is
evident that the two sculptures are copies of Pergamene bronzes which
stood in the open square surrounding the temple of Athena Polias on the
Acropolis of Pergamus.

The two works represent a large number of similar marbles after
Pergamene originals scattered through the galleries of Europe. They
lead us at once to inquire into the historical events they clearly
incarnate.

The story of the foundation of Pergamus is full of interest. During
the years following Alexander’s death, Lysimachus had accumulated a
vast treasure in the impregnable Acropolis of Pergamus. He placed his
lieutenant Philetairus in charge, occupying himself with schemes of
conquest. But Lysimachus was human and late in life took to himself
a young wife. To humour her he assented to the murder of a son by a
former marriage. The atrocity finally alienated Philetairus. He headed
a rebellion, seized the treasure under his charge and founded the
kingdom of Pergamus in 283 B.C.

The dynasty founded in this dramatic fashion was destined to a stormy
history. As early as 280 B.C. fresh danger threatened from the hordes
of Gauls, who began to pour across the passes of the Balkans. Some of
these barbarians marched upon Greece. Others crossed the Bosphorus at
Byzantium, and eventually founded the Gallo-Greek kingdom of Galatia
in the heart of Phrygia. But the king of Pergamus felt that his safety
depended upon checking the victorious career of the Gauls. Allying
himself with the ruling Seleucus, Attalus I. of Pergamus inflicted a
signal defeat. This was about 241 B.C. The victory was not the only one
gained by the kingdom of Pergamus. Early in the second century, Eumenes
II. (197 B.C.-159 B.C.) gained fresh laurels for his countrymen.

The effect of these brilliant victories upon the imagination of the
people of Pergamus can only be realized by comparing it with that of
Marathon and Salamis upon the fifth-century Athenians. All around
them the Pergamenes saw civilized communities acknowledging defeat at
the hands of the Gauls. As the Athenians stemmed the tide of Persian
invasion at Marathon, so the Princes of Pergamus saved the Greeks in
Asia Minor from the barbarian Gauls who seemed destined to sweep away
the newly planted Hellenic civilization. The victories made Pergamus
the rival of Alexandria and Antioch. As had been the case after
Salamis, a long series of public buildings and temples were erected,
until the Acropolis at Pergamus threatened to outshine even that at
Athens. Among the statues, as we have said, was the bronze original of
“The Dying Gaul.”

It was the second defeat of the Gauls, at the hands of Eumenes II.,
which led to the building of the great altar of Zeus on the Acropolis
of Pergamus. It is worth while to reconstruct a picture of the huge
edifice with the aid of our memory of the sister Acropolis at Athens.
The Altar stood a little below the Temple of Athena, on the south-west
terrace, and was surmounted by an Ionic colonnade, which enclosed
the actual place of sacrifice. The worshippers approached by a broad
staircase cut from the west side of the great pile. Around the whole
structure ran the frieze, with its multitude of figures in the highest
relief—the carvings, of course, being interrupted by the staircase.
The whole work serves to carry the history of Pergamene sculpture
beyond the stage when such a statue as “The Dying Gaul” was produced.

The great frieze was discovered by a young German engineer named Carl
Humann. During a business visit to Pergamus, Humann noticed the native
workmen breaking up large fragments of sculptured marble, burning them
in lime kilns and building them into walls. The exhibition of specimens
in Berlin led to systematic excavations in 1879. All that remains of
the great work is now exhibited in a specially designed gallery in
Berlin, where the frieze can be seen in something approaching its
original setting.

No single slab can convey an impression of the bewildering power of
the carvings as a whole. The best known is that called “The Triumph of
Athena.” The colossal figures (the frieze is almost nine feet high)
show the goddess seizing a young giant by the hair, while the serpent
of Athena bites at her enemy’s breast. Nike bears a laurel crown in
token of Athena’s victory. In the lower part of the slab, the Earth
Mother of the giants is seen in anguish. “The Triumph of Athena” was
the central group on the Eastern side, and, therefore, faced the square
in which the people of Pergamus met. It was balanced by another mighty
group, representing Zeus in conflict with three giants. Either affords
a fine example of the theatrical style into which the later Pergamene
sculpture degenerated. The artist is clearly more interested in the
attempt to express excited action than in the more subtle phases of
emotion. Nevertheless, mutilated as it is, a fragment like “The Triumph
of Athena” testifies to an extraordinary level of technical skill and
a magnificent vigour of imagination, even if it also proves an absence
of the earlier emotional balance which gave “The Dying Gaul” a deeper
beauty.

[Illustration: TRIUMPH OF ATHENA From the Altar of Zeus, Pergamus
(Berlin)]


THE SCULPTURE OF RHODES AND ALEXANDRIA

(300 b.c. TO 50 b.c.)


If the fame of the school of sculpture at Pergamus is inextricably
connected with “The Dying Gaul,” the sister school at Rhodes can claim
the even more famous “Laocoon Group.”

Throughout the second and third centuries before Christ, Rhodes was the
meeting-place of commerce passing between Asia and Europe. The Rhodians
were the finest seamen in the world at the time and to them fell the
task of clearing the seas of pirates which had given Athens so strong
a position a century or two earlier. Indeed, the commercial mantle of
Athens had fallen upon Rhodes. Unlike the kingdoms of Pergamus and of
the Seleucidæ, the middle-class was paramount here. Rhodes, like Venice
in later years, was practically ruled by an aristocracy of merchants.
The vigorous schools of art and rhetoric depended in no small measure
upon this. Such a social system provides that prime essential of vital
literature and art—large numbers of citizens with the experience that
comes from rubbing wit against wit and passion against passion in the
market square and the forum.

Rhodes was eminently the centre in Hellenistic times which most closely
approached the standard set in the days of the Greek city-states. This
fact, together with the traditions of Hellenic sculptors which Rhodes
had received, made “The Laocoon Group” possible.

The statue was the work of three Rhodian artists, Agesander, Polydorus,
and Athenodorus, who lived about 125 B.C. The group was found in the
Baths of Titus in 1506. A recent discovery suggests that the present
restoration of the right arm of Laocoon is incorrect. The serpent’s
coil should come up to the neck of Laocoon, and his right hand should
clasp a coil close to his head.

Ancient tradition held that the statue had been hewn from a single
block of stone. In reality, it is constructed from six pieces, though
the joints are so cunningly concealed that even Michael Angelo could
only detect three. The sculptors display an extraordinary mastery
over the problems of human anatomy which they have set themselves to
solve, while their treatment of the combination of physical tension and
emotional stress is unsurpassed. Indeed the technical beauty of “The
Laocoon” has never been questioned.

But “The Laocoon Group” may be regarded from another point of view,
displaying yet a new facet of the genius of its authors. Consider the
immense difficulty of visualizing such a scene so that the various
parts form a complete design capable of translation into marble. The
version of the story in the Æneid is known to all.

The priest Laocoon has violated the shrine of Tritonia and unheedful of
his doom is sacrificing a bullock at the altar of Neptune. Suddenly,
as Virgil pictures the scene, the two great serpents rise from the
sea. Their glaring eyes shot with blood and their jaws darting fire,
they make for the shore and move steadily upon Laocoon. His two small
boys are taken first. Then the serpents gather the father himself in
their mighty folds. One coil grasps Laocoon’s body. Another part of the
scaly chain winds twice round his neck. In vain the priest tries to
tear asunder the dreadful coil, crying to Heaven, to use the Virgilian
simile, like a bull who, having escaped the sacrificial axe, flies
wounded from the altar.

[Illustration: THE LAOCOON GROUP Vatican, Rome]

The designers of the group have clearly followed an earlier version
of the legend in which the younger son escapes. But the difficulty of
visualization and expression is the same. It is comparatively easy to
find words to convey the general impression. But the three sculptors
had to find the momentary action which would suggest the whole story.
Yet the design of “The Laocoon Group” tells everything. We see

    “The father’s double pangs, both for himself
     And sons convulsed; to Heaven his rueful look,
     Imploring aid, and half accusing, cast;
     His fell despair, with indignation mixed,
     As the strong curling monsters from his side
     His full-extended fury cannot tear.”

None of the tragic horror of the scene is lost. It can be said with
absolute candour,

    “Such passion here,
     Such agonies, such bitterness of pain,
     Seem so to tremble through the tortured stone
     That the touched heart engrosses all the view.”

None of us at once realize the reason we are so moved by a mere echo
of an old myth. When the truth dawns upon us, we see that the awful
admiration with which “The Laocoon” has always been regarded, finds
its source deep down in the human heart. The emotions we experience
do not depend upon the sufferings of the priest of Neptune. Laocoon
is mankind himself. His fight with death is an emblem of the far more
general struggle which every human being must share—the struggle which
is the price we pay for life. “The Laocoon” is not unique in this
respect. On the contrary, a similar dominating idea is enshrined in all
the greatest examples of Hellenic sculpture. The “Aphrodite of Cnidus”
is more than a woman. The statue is the incarnation of the idea of
womanly love.

It is the presence of a dominating idea of this kind which
distinguishes “The Laocoon” of Rhodes from “The Tyche of Antioch.”
Admitting its presence places the sculpture beyond and above both
criticism and praise. A sentence, however, of Walter Pater suggests a
point of critical vantage which the student of the history of sculpture
cannot disregard. He says: “‘The Laocoon,’ with all that patient
science through which it has triumphed over an almost unmanageable
subject, marks a period in which sculpture has begun to aim at effects,
legitimate, because delightful, only in painting.”

No man had a truer appreciation of Greek art than Walter Pater, and
no opinion is more entitled to thoughtful consideration. But in view
of the fact that the extreme classical school of criticism has always
tended to depreciate the value of all Hellenistic art, we may regret
that Pater’s argument was not illustrated by a lesser work of the
Rhodian school. The suggestion that the Laocoon myth borders upon the
illegitimate as far as sculptural treatment is concerned, seems to
demand the qualification that supreme success justifies the disregard
of any canon of art.

[Illustration: THE NILE Vatican, Rome]

Pater’s judgment, however, applies with real force to other works by
sculptors of Rhodes. It might, for instance, be used of “The Farnese
Bull,” now in the National Museum at Naples. The group was found in the
baths of Caracalla at Rome during the sixteenth century, and has been
so largely restored that criticism is, perhaps, unjust. If the present
work can be regarded as embodying the ideas of its authors, we see a
passion which has degenerated from the dramatic to the theatrical.

The subject of the statue is the punishment of Dirce at the hands of
Amphion and Zethus. Below, the sculptors show the rocky ledges of Mount
Cithæron—the death-place of the unfortunate woman who is being bound
to the horns of the bull. This suggests nothing that can be called
ennobling. It is all merely horrible. Comparing “The Farnese Bull” with
“The Laocoon” or the figure of the “Niobe” mother, we realize that the
loss of reposeful beauty entailed in the treatment of such a subject is
not compensated for in any other direction. The great end of art has
been forgotten:

    “That it should be a friend
     To soothe the cares and lift the thoughts of man.”

The last great division of the post-Alexandrian Greek world was the
kingdom of the Ptolemies which included Egypt and Phœnicia. The
Macedonian rulers of Egypt soon made Alexandria, their capital, a
flourishing centre both for the arts and sciences. But the genius of
the place seemed to favour literature rather than sculpture.

The statue of “The Nile,” excavated in Rome during the pontificacy of
Leo X. and placed in the Vatican, is a fine instance of Hellenistic art
produced under the influence of Alexandrian civilization. The statue
is always associated with its companion work, “The Tiber.” Apparently
both formed part of the decoration of a temple of Isis in Rome. While
“The Nile” was reproduced from a fine Alexandrian original, “The
Tiber,” an inferior work, was specially designed by a Greek sculptor
working in Rome. The Alexandrian work proves, however, that statues of
great beauty could be produced in essentially un-Hellenic surroundings.
The figure of the sea god is surrounded by a host of putti, the
number—sixteen—symbolizing the cubits which the river rises during
a maximum inundation. The delightful way in which the little figures
are disposed in the design so that they shall not interfere with the
lines of the central figure is worthy of all praise. Nevertheless, the
judgment we arrived at with regard to the sculpture of the Seleucidæ
applies to that of Egypt. The foreign bureaucracy which Ptolemy
organized, and the tendency towards an imperial rule of the Eastern
pattern, militated against the rise of a strongly differentiated style.
Egypt was not favoured as either Pergamus or Rhodes had been.

These are the chief examples of Hellenistic sculpture produced beyond
the direct influence of the home of the Hellenic idea. We have next to
consider the Hellenistic sculpture of Greece itself.



CHAPTER VI

THE HELLENISTIC SCULPTURE OF GREECE

(300 B.C. TO 50 B.C.)


“The wren can soar as high as the eagle—once lodged upon the shoulders
of the king of the skies.” So men say. But the high gods only smile.
They know that emotions must arise and thoughts be nourished in hearts
and minds great enough to contain them, if they are to live in ethereal
depths. The sculptor or the painter, with the wings of the wren, must
be content to flutter nearer to the flowers.

In this truth lies the key which unlocks the mystery of the sculpture
of Hellenistic Greece, one of the most elusive problems in the history
of art. Before any marble of this age we feel we are face to face with
the work of lesser spirits—men who cannot boast of the eagle wings of
their brothers of the fourth and fifth centuries. Few can recall the
name of a single Greek sculptor of the later age. There is certainly
no Scopas, no Praxiteles, no Lysippus. Yet the mere enumeration of the
“Farnese Hercules,” the “Belvedere Apollo,” the “Venus of Milo,” and
the “Venus of Medici,” witnesses to craftsmen of the highest technical
skill. What the sculpture of Hellenistic Greece lacks is the passionate
enthusiasm for emotional and intellectual beauty which impressed the
personality of such a man as Praxiteles upon his age, and made him not
only a sculptor of note but a cosmic force. Praxiteles found sculptural
expression for new loves and new hates. This is the power which creates
a school. It is the absence of men possessed of this faculty, together
with the absence of the new loves and hates themselves, which the
historian of Hellenistic Greek sculpture must explain.

But, first of all, terms require definition. “Hellenistic Greece”
connotes both a period and a locality. In point of time, it roughly
includes from 300 B.C., when the immediate influence of Lysippus was
removed, to, say, 50 B.C., when Rome realized her task of ruling the
Western world. In point of place, the sculpture of Hellenistic Greece
is to be sharply distinguished from that of Rhodes, Pergamus, and
Alexandria. This is the more important, as the term Hellenistic is
properly applicable to all these schools. Moreover, there are many
characteristics common both to the Hellenistic sculpture of Greece
itself and the art of the various States of the Alexandrian empire.
Neither Rhodes nor Pergamus, for instance, gave rise to masterful
spirits of the type which directed the course of Hellenic art during
the fourth and fifth centuries. Both Pergamus and Rhodes, however,
were centres which had never encountered the full tide of Hellenic
civilisation.

It was not hard to correlate political and social circumstances which
had no counterpart in fourth- and fifth-century Greece with the
characteristics which distinguished the “Dying Gaul” and the “Laocoon”
from the sculptures of Praxiteles and Scopas. But in Greece, during
the post-Alexandrian age, the problem is far more complicated. The
old methods of life and thought lingered on. The difference between
“Hellenic” and “Hellenistic” is far more intangible than it is in
countries where the Greek city-state system had never taken root. It is
true that even in Greece the peculiar political and social conditions
which gave rise to Hellenic sculpture passed away. But, once developed,
the body of ideas which arose from them continued to influence the
sculptor and the public to whom he appealed.

[Illustration: THE FARNESE HERCULES National Museum, Naples]


THE FOLLOWERS OF LYSIPPUS

Putting aside then for the moment the characteristics which
_distinguish_ the art of Hellenistic Greece from that of the earlier
age, let us fix our attention upon the long series of works which owe
their inspiration to the great sculptors of the fourth century. Nowhere
can any affinity with the works of Phidias and the other fifth-century
masters be detected. The men of Hellenistic Greece were entirely out of
sympathy with the ideals of Periclean Athens. But they could realize
the emotions aroused by Scopas, with his insistence upon the struggles
of the individual soul. They could seek to express for themselves the
feminine graces of Praxiteles. Above all they realized the value of the
more strenuous ideals embodied in the sculpture of Lysippus.

The “Farnese Hercules” affords a striking instance of the effect of the
Hellenistic outlook upon a theme which had been closely identified with
a Hellenic sculptor of the first order. Lysippus had done for Hercules
what Praxiteles had done for Hermes. He fixed the type. The “Farnese
Hercules,” however, is the work of the Athenian sculptor, Glycon, and
dates from the first century B.C. Glycon has chosen the moment when
the hero, worn out by his labours, stands with every muscle relaxed,
resting. The keynote of his statue is to be found in

    “The spreading shoulders, muscular and broad,
     The whole a mass of swelling sinews.”

To the imagination of the Athenian of the age of Lysippus, this would
have appeared forced. The muscularity of the hero would have struck
him as excessive. Lysippus indeed satisfied the craving for a deeper
naturalism, which arose from a surfeit of the sensuous idealism
of Praxiteles. But his judgment would have avoided the pitfall of
excessive realism which distinguishes Glycon’s conception of Hercules
from that which any fourth-century Athenian would have formed.

A less significant example but in some respects an even more
interesting one, is to be found in the magnificent nude, the “Cerigotto
Bronze,” recovered, near the island after which it is named, about
the year 1900. This derives its importance from the fact that it is
a bronze original and not the work of a Roman copyist as so many
Hellenistic marbles are.

The story of its romantic recovery would alone ensure this bronze
becoming historic.

    “A thousand years it lay in the sea
     With a treasure wrecked from Thessaly.
     Deep it lay ’mid the coiled sea-wrack.”

The second chapter in its history opened when a party of sponge-fishers
happened upon what they found to be the wreckage of an ancient vessel
which had run upon the rocks to the east of the island of Cerigotto
and sunk in thirty fathoms of water. The cargo had evidently been the
property of a dealer in antiques, the wreck probably dating from the
second century B.C. A considerable portion of the cargo was brought to
the surface.

[Illustration: THE CERIGOTTO BRONZE Athens]

The marbles, with one exception, were unrecognizable. But the bronzes
had fared better. In particular, a life-sized statue of an athlete,
with right arm outstretched, proved capable of complete restoration.
It now stands in the museum at Athens. The critical battle as to the
date of its casting was a long one. General opinion to-day regards
it as an early Hellenistic work based upon the Lysippic style. In
the “Cerigotto Bronze,” the tendency towards excessive realism noted
in the “Farnese Hercules” has not proceeded so far. But in the body,
and especially in the treatment of the abdominal muscles, a departure
from the idealistic standard approved by the great masters of the
fourth century can be clearly detected. Instead of being content with
a suggestion of the natural form, the Hellenistic sculptor aims at
realistic representation. He seeks to copy the human form, regardless
of the lesson afforded by every great sculptor of Greece, that the more
indirect methods of idealism are far better calculated to arouse the
uplifting emotions which every true man and woman must feel before the
grandest object Heaven ever made.

The classical art critics were fully aware of the snare which lay in
this passion for extreme realism of detail. They clearly recognized
it to be a characteristic feature of much Hellenistic sculpture. They
tell, for instance, of the statue of the “Dying Jocasta” in which
the Hellenistic sculptor mingled silver with the bronze, to denote
the pallor of coming death. Pliny adds that the sculptor Aristonidas
of Rhodes mixed iron with the metal from which he cast a statue of
Athamas—that the ruddy glow might suggest the blush of remorse which
a father who had hurled his son from the rocks would naturally wear.
Both these instances are narrated as mere eccentricities. Their
interest for ourselves lies in the fact that they illustrate precisely
the same tendency which distinguishes the “Hercules” of Glycon from
that which Lysippus had made three centuries earlier or the “Cerigotto
Bronze” from a similar work by a fourth-century sculptor.

When analyzed, this tendency towards realism points clearly to an
absence of that fine critical faculty with which every supreme artist
is endowed. It argues a lack of moderation which in the end must lead
to disaster. The admixture of silver to the bronze “Dying Jocasta” was
no isolated case. Hellenistic Greece proved itself open to a charge of
immoderate folly on many another occasion. The instance furnished by
that “Wonder of the World,” the Rhodian Colossus, will occur to every
one. The great statue of the Sun-god at Rhodes measured 105 ft. high.
It was cast hollow, the separate pieces being set up, one upon another,
around an inner structure of masonry. Pliny says of it:—

“The greatest marvel of all, however, was the colossal figure of the
sun at Rhodes made by Chares of Lindus, a pupil of Lysippus. This
figure was seventy cubits in height, and after standing fifty-six years
was overthrown by an earthquake. But even as it lies prostrate, it is
a marvel. Few men can embrace its thumb. Its fingers are larger than
most statues. There are huge yawning caverns where the limbs have been
broken.”


THE FOLLOWERS OF PRAXITELES

Considered as a whole the sculpture of Hellenistic Greece exhibits an
intensification of the characteristics which distinguish the sculpture
of Praxiteles and Lysippus from that of Phidias and Polyclitus. So
far we have only traced the indebtedness of the Hellenistic sculptor
to Lysippus. We have seen how one branch of the Hellenistic school
continued to favour the virile subjects Lysippus had preferred, how
it accentuated the natural realism which characterized his style. The
second branch, which carried forward the traditions of Praxiteles, was
equally potent. Though it cannot be said that these sculptors “blended
with their marbles the emotions of the soul,” as had been said of
Praxiteles, yet the feeling for grace of line and sensuous beauty,
which were the keynotes of the Praxitelean manner, remained.

The finest work of this great division of Hellenistic art is probably
the celebrated “Belvedere Apollo” in the Vatican collection. In these
days, the “Apollo” is, perhaps, not esteemed as highly as it was a
century ago, when opportunities for appreciating the true beauties of
the sculpture of the age of Phidias and Pericles were wanting. But it
will never entirely lose its power of attraction.

The modelling of the hair and the short cloak show that the original
was a bronze. As to the motive of the statue, James Thomson, in his
“Liberty,” writes:

    “All conquest-flushed, from prostrate Python, came
     The Quivered God. In graceful act he stands,
     His arm extended with the slackened bow:
     Light flows his easy robe, and fain displays
     A manly-softened form. The bloom of gods
     Seems youthful o’er the beardless cheek to wave.
     His features yet heroic ardour warms;
     And sweet subsiding to a native smile,
     Mixed with the joy elating conquest gives,
     A scattered frown exalts his matchless air.”

For many years, however, the archæologists have been battling, proving
and disproving the proposition that the god is really holding the ægis
with the head of Medusa before his terror-stricken foes. The suggestion
is that the original of the Belvedere was intended to be set up with a
statue of Artemis—the “Artemis of Versailles,” now in the Louvre—at
Delphi, in commemoration of the defeat of the Gauls in 276 B.C. It will
be remembered that Macedonia was invaded by the Gauls about the year
280 B.C., the time when the barbarians from the North overran Asia
Minor and founded the kingdom of Galatia after a severe defeat at the
hands of Attalus of Pergamus. Sosthenes rallied the Macedonian army,
but, in spite of all his efforts, the Gauls under Brennus continued to
push south. Thermopylæ was garrisoned as it had been at the time of the
Persian invasion. The entire Greek world sent contingents to repel the
invaders. Finally, legend tells that the raid was stayed by the divine
interposition of Apollo and Artemis. Angered at the daring of Brennus,
Apollo called upon the forces of nature to defend the shrine at Delphi.
An earthquake and a devastating storm forced Brennus to retire.

[Illustration: THE APOLLO BELVEDERE Vatican, Rome]

[Illustration: THE VENUS OF MEDICI (_see p. 112_) Uffizi, Florence]

Until recently it was generally believed that the association between
the “Apollo” and the defeat of the Gaulish invaders was supported
by the evidence of a bronze statuette belonging to Count Sargei
Stroganoff. The bronze is undoubtedly a copy of the Belvedere statue,
and the object in the god’s hand is not a bow and might well represent
the ægis with the head of Medusa. Archæological opinion has, however,
now veered round, and since Professor Fürtwangler has pronounced
the Stroganoff bronze a modern forgery, it must be admitted that no
trustworthy evidence remains for connecting the Apollo Belvedere with
one of the few political crises which galvanized Hellenistic Greece
into vigorous action.

The coincidence that the crisis was the very Gaulish invasion which
created Pergamene art would certainly have afforded a valuable analogy.
The great products of the school of sculpture at Pergamus were the
direct outcome of the passions and fears aroused in a country where
every man and woman stood face to face with death or a slavery worse
than death. In Hellenistic Greece the same dread—the selfsame chance
of death or slavery—only stirred the individual.

There can be little doubt that this is why almost all Hellenistic
sculpture strikes us as wanting some material element. The very
refinement of the modelling of the “Belvedere Apollo,” compared with
the strenuous naturalism of the Pergamene artists, argues an absence
of vital feeling. There is almost a feminine note in the smooth-limbed
Apollo, when the sentiment of the Hellenistic statue is contrasted with
the vigorous manhood of the “Hermes” of Praxiteles, the product of an
age which really knew what manhood was worth. In a phrase, the “Apollo
Belvedere” belongs to a time when individual Greek sculptors were
producing great bronzes and marbles but when Greece itself had ceased
to do so. Seeing that the emotions of an individual can never have
the driving force which is given to the feelings and thoughts astir
in nations, the absence of this national stress stamps the “Apollo
Belvedere” as Hellenistic—the product of a civilization which had lost
that sense of communal fellowship which was peculiarly Hellenic.

During the fifth century B.C., and, in a great measure, throughout the
fourth century, the individual Greek had sacrificed everything to his
membership in the city-state. He cared nothing for individual pleasures
and aspirations. But when the civilization which had been Hellenic
became Hellenistic, the relationship between the citizen and the state,
between the citizen and his fellows, changed entirely. The rise of a
new political power—the country-state—led to the abandonment of the
intimate interest with which each member had followed every change in
the political and social life around him.

Roughly, the new political situation in Greece after the death of
Alexander amounted to this. A city-state continued free and independent
as long as it was content to remain poor. But any accumulation of this
world’s goods was the signal for the descent of a Macedonian garrison
and a peremptory demand for a subsidy. If the city-state determined to
resist the Macedonian demands, two courses were open. Allies could be
purchased or a federation of neighbouring cities could be formed. The
federation of neighbouring cities constituted the country-state, which
played so large a part in the history of Hellenistic Greece. A typical
league is the Achæan. Its early beginnings dated from 281 B.C., but it
was thirty years later before a man of genius arose to make the dead
arrangement a living force. When Aratus persuaded Sicyon to join the
League, a really powerful body was created. Corinth joined in 243 and
finally Argos and the rest of the states of North Peloponnesus. The
Achæan League was by this time the chief political power in Southern
Greece. Its counterpart in the North was the Ætolian League, whose
allies met periodically at Thermus, where the booty won in their
piratical expeditions was stored.

Nominally, every citizen in the federation over the age of thirty
could exercise his suffrage. Practically, the distance from the seat
of government caused the Common Assembly to become more and more a
constitutional fiction. The real power passed into the hands of the few
who held positions upon the executive. Patriotism naturally lost much
of its old force. Certainly it was no longer the one goad to artistic
production as had been the case in the age of Pericles.

Nor was this all. With the decay of the virile life in the city, the
exquisite sense of form and the power of imaginative generalization
which sculpture had derived from continual discussion in the
market-place and the law courts, began to weaken. The changed social
and political circumstances necessitated an art with fresh methods and
fresh ideals.

Passing in review the numberless sculptures of Greece produced after
300 B.C., with a view to finding the intellectual and emotional
atmosphere which shaped them, we continually meet with a certain
romantic subjectivity which is essentially modern. It is this fact
which makes much Hellenistic sculpture peculiarly akin to the art of
our own day. Hellenic sculpture implied a type of character and a body
of ideas of which the twentieth-century man can have no first-hand
experience. The Western European of to-day is a member of a community
numbering between forty million and eighty million people. He pays his
rates and taxes—under protest. There, unless a system of universal
military service prevails, his civic duties end. Any very active
sympathy with the member of a microscopic city-state is impossible.
The typical modern cannot be expected to realize clearly how a
political or social event struck one whose chief joy was that he, as an
individual, played a very real part in every national action. During
the Hellenistic age, however, all this was changed. An essentially
twentieth-century individualism prevailed—an individualism which
rejected the narrowing limits set by the love of a single city.

With the broadening of the individual sympathies, a certain
subjectivity replaced the marked objectivity of fourth- and
fifth-century Greek thought. With it went much of the earlier depth of
passion, much of the old artistic initiative, precisely as it has gone
from the “universe-loving” art of to-day. In the new philosophy the
individual played a far larger _rôle_. His own thoughts and feelings,
as opposed to the thoughts and feelings of his fellow citizens, became
predominant. Private life and the interests arising from the family
began to suggest a great majority of the themes of the sculpture by
which the Hellenistic Greek expressed himself.

This can be beautifully illustrated by a brief survey of the
Hellenistic Greek’s treatment of woman as a theme for his sculptural
art. In dealing with Praxiteles we dwelt upon the position which the
women of Greece occupied in fourth-century Athens compared with her
sister in the fifth century. In the course of the next hundred years
the position was reversed. During the Hellenistic period the social
necessity for the sacrifice of the Athenian woman vanished completely.
She was permitted to share the life of her husband and her sons to
the full. The whole of her womanly nature was developed. Nor were
her energies confined to the larger sphere offered by the changed
circumstances in the Greek home. Woman in Hellenistic times began
to play a _rôle_ upon the world’s stage which would have struck the
old-fashioned Greek of the Periclean age as grotesque and immoral.
Towns named after such women as Laodicea, Berenice, and Arsinoe,
testify to the immense influence of a long line of princesses of the
type of Cleopatra of Egypt in national and international politics.

Unfortunately, the Greek woman sacrificed a good deal to gain the new
liberty. The mysterious respect with which she had been regarded in
the fifth century became a thing of the past. It had depended upon the
fact that women lived in a world apart from men. This social convention
commenced to wane during the fourth century. It vanished almost
entirely during Hellenistic times.

What was the effect of all this upon sculpture? We can trace it
most surely in the sculptor’s treatment of the incarnation of true
womanhood—Aphrodite or Venus.

The fifth-century sculptor always depicted Aphrodite clad in the full
robe of every-day life. In all fifth-century statues of women the
girdle was placed low on the figure. The idea was to emphasize the
qualities of modesty and reserve which were the cardinal feminine
virtues in such a city as Athens at that time. But in the following
century, under the influence of the more individualistic age of
Praxiteles, the sculptor began to dwell upon the frankly physical
attributes of womanhood. The girdle was set well above the level of
the natural waist. We have also seen how Praxiteles dared to lay aside
drapery altogether when he carved his Aphrodite for the islanders of
Cnidus. But even the artistic courage of Praxiteles dared not omit a
plausible excuse for the change. The robe in the hands of Aphrodite
gave the necessary suggestion to the Greek imagination, that womanhood
had not put off all womanly reserve when it discarded its drapery.

The Hellenistic sculptor, however, not only in Greece but throughout
the post-Alexandrian Empire, made no effort to restrain the tendency
to insist upon the merely sensuous beauties of womanhood. In the
well-known slab from the altar frieze of the Pergamene Acropolis, the
girdle of the goddess Athena is placed just beneath the breasts. In
the “Venus of Medici”—the typical embodiment of the womanhood of the
Hellenistic age—drapery is laid aside altogether. In the sculptor’s
view, he owes the world no explanation of the situation in which the
goddess finds herself. He is content to offer those external charms of
youthful beauty which fascinate the senses but do not satisfy the human
heart. Accepting his standpoint, the “Venus of Medici” is one of the
most perfect statues in the world. But the Aphrodite of Praxiteles and
such a work as “The Three Fates” of Phidias, remind us that the grace
of form in the Medicean Venus is, after all, rather humanly human than
humanly divine. We feel that the suggestion of reserve to which the
earlier sculptors clung only deepened the sensuous emotion which every
sculptor seeks to arouse when he sets forth the physical charms of the
Goddess of Love.

[Illustration: THE VENUS OF MILO Louvre, Paris]

From time to time during the Hellenistic age there was doubtless a
return to the older ideals. The magnificent “Venus of Milo,” now in
the collection at the Louvre, is a proof of this. Since its excavation
in the island of Melos during the nineteenth century, the right of
this magnificent marble to rank among the sculptural masterpieces of
the world has never been challenged. The motive of the design has
always furnished the critics with occasion for controversy. It may
be that an exact restoration would give a further specimen of the
type exhibited in the “Venus of Capua,” which depicts Aphrodite with
the shield of Ares, the goddess using the shield as a mirror. The
date of the production of the “Venus of Milo” is as problematical as
the subject. At first it is difficult to believe that this statue is
rightly assigned to so late a date as 150 B.C. There have always been,
and doubtless the critical conflict will continue, differences of
opinion as to the time of its production. Some have traced it back to
the Aphrodite of Scopas. There is, however, little reason to doubt the
opinion generally held, that it is really a work of Hellenistic times.
Assuming this to be the case, the statue certainly exhibits a point
of view which is in striking contrast to that offered by the “Venus
of Medici.” The lofty sentiment of the “Venus of Milo” marks it as
essentially un-Hellenistic. The sculptor throughout subordinates the
physical beauties of the human form to the deeper sense of beauty which
springs from the realization of the idea of the divinity of womanhood.
For this reason, the statue stands in glorious solitude apart from the
rest of the sculpture of its time.

There can be little doubt that, as a rule, the Hellenistic age could
not stand the intensity of emotion aroused by such a work as the “Venus
of Milo.” The “golden age” of Greece had passed away when every Greek
knew that it was good to be alive. During Hellenistic times Greek
citizenship became a doubtful blessing. It chiefly served to remind its
possessors of the lost glories of an earlier age. Can we be surprised
that men looked to art to redress the balance, and called for the works
which would wean them for a few moments from the dreary truths of
existence?

No single formula will explain all the facts, but some connection
between the degree of strenuousness in the political and social life of
a state and the degree of strenuousness reached in its art, is certain.
Consider the case of Homer—the direct outcome of the victorious
struggle which the Greeks waged with the barbarians upon the shores
of the Eastern Ægean. In the Athenian artists, Phidias, Polygnotus
and Sophocles, we find the alliance of restful calm with the deepest
thought and emotion which we should expect during a period of relative
peace and prosperity, following an intense though victorious struggle.
But how, it may be asked, did the long fight with Sparta during the
Peloponnesian war affect Athenian art? The old emotional depth became
unbearable. Comedy arose. In sculpture, Praxiteles replaced Phidias.
Coming to our own artistic history, we find an English audience
answering to the deep emotional appeal of _Macbeth_ or _Lear_ in the
years which followed the glorious victory over the Armada. The period
after the severe self-repression of the puritanical era naturally
enough produced such a comedy as Congreve’s _Way of the World_.

But this antipathy to too strenuous an art is not the only factor
which led to a great increase in the range of subjects open to the
Greek sculptor, and presented a host of lighter themes to his chisel.
The “Rape of the Lock” was the outcome of the boudoir experience upon
which the fancy of Pope was nourished. The eighteenth century could not
furnish the mental and emotional stimulus needful for the production of
_Othello_. But it could and did suggest a perfectly charming poem to
the “unwhipt, unblanketed, unkicked, unslain carcase” we call Alexander
Pope. May this not have been the case in Hellenistic Greece? Previously
“Greek life had been too full to put frills on its thoughts,” as
De Quincey once said. But the Hellenistic age revelled in the very
“frills” which the men of the fourth and fifth centuries had rejected.
Allegory replaced natural symbolism. Instead of Aphrodite—Cupid. For
Aphrodite, the goddess of Love, and Eros, the personification of the
desire which makes powerless the limbs of men—Cupid, the smiling
embodiment of the love which flits from fancy to fancy.

[Illustration: BOY STRANGLING A GOOSE Louvre, Paris]

[Illustration: CHILD WITH LANTERN Terme Museum, Rome]

It is not easy to illustrate this phase of Hellenistic sculpture. But
there can be few finer examples than the large bronze statuette, “The
Winged Cupid,” belonging to Mr. Pierpont Morgan, long lodged in the
South Kensington Museum. It once decorated a Roman villa on the slopes
of Vesuvius, and was excavated at Boscoreale, a village near Naples at
the foot of the volcano. The bronze is much beautified by the wonderful
bluish-green patina with which time has endowed it. The perfectly
poised figure, springing forward with the burning torch of desire,
stands for an entirely new note in Greek sculpture. Its frolicsome
roguishness can be compared with nothing which the Hellenic mind
expressed in sculptural form.

A further instance of the same tendency is furnished by the well-known
“Boy strangling a Goose,” by Boethus of Chalcedon. This delightful
work, one of the few sculptural jokes, is an obvious parody upon one
of the adventures of the hero Hercules. Lastly, we may point to the
charming “Child with Lantern,” recently taken from the Tiber, and now
standing in the rose-decked cloisters of the Terme Museum.

These three unpretentious little works, all remarkable for their easy
and graceful humour, happily complete our survey. Greek sculpture had
learnt to smile. It ended with the coming of the Romans. When the
Roman imperial rule finally extended over Asia Minor and Egypt, as
well as over Hellas itself, Greek art began to lose its individuality,
and a Græco-Roman style was evolved which was finally merged into the
distinctive sculpture of Rome itself. In 146 B.C. Greece was conquered
by Mummius and became a Roman province. In 133 B.C. Attalus III. willed
Pergamus to Rome. In 64 B.C. Pompey put an end to the Seleucid rule
in Syria. Some thirty years later, the sea fight at Actium ended the
Ptolemaic rule in Egypt, and the last Hellenistic stronghold fell. An
art impulse which had been predominant for five hundred years was at an
end.



CHAPTER VII

THE PORTRAIT SCULPTURE OF ROME

(50 B.C. TO THE FOUNDATION OF CONSTANTINOPLE IN 330 A.D.)


Roman sculpture and Roman imperialism—these two things are
indissolubly connected. That is the proposition, expressed in the
baldest terms, that must now be established. As long as the Republican
system sufficed for the needs of Rome, her sculpture was entirely
Hellenistic in character. It was only with the advent of the Augustan
age (between, let us say, 50 B.C. and the year of Our Lord) that
traces of a distinctively national spirit began to show themselves.
A complete imperial system had commenced to exert its influence upon
society. From that time onward, and throughout the three following
centuries, characteristics can be traced which clearly differentiate
the work of the Roman sculptor from that of any Hellenic or Hellenistic
artist. It was only when “the pale Galilean” triumphed and the ideals
of Christianity supplanted those of an outworn imperialism that “Roman
sculpture,” too, became a thing of the past.

The how and the why suggested by our major proposition must be faced
boldly. Reducing the problem to its elements, we require, in the first
place, to gain a clear idea of what “Roman imperialism” denotes. In the
second place we must distinguish clearly between “Roman sculpture” and,
an entirely different thing, “sculpture produced in Rome.” The one is
organically Roman. The parentage of the other is Greek; its birthplace
is an accident. It precedes the national art of imperial times by at
least a century.

That so widely diffused an appreciation of sculpture existed long
before the growth of a native art is in itself highly significant.
An imported art is not a rare phenomenon in history, but it rarely
persists for the length of time it did in Rome. In the sixteenth
century, England welcomed an invasion of Italian “noveletti” and
romantic poetry. In a very short while, however, the alien art was
replaced by a vigorous national drama. Earlier in the same century,
France for a time suffered the Italian school of painting (the school
of Fontainebleau). But the stranger never quite made herself at home,
and was finally supplanted by an artistic canon which was entirely
French in spirit.

Republican Rome, on the contrary, was not only satisfied with her alien
school of sculpture for a century and a half, but borrowed at the same
time an entire culture from Greece—literature, science and philosophy.
The Roman boy was educated by Greek teachers in Rome. During
adolescence, he passed over to Athens for a course of philosophy or to
Rhodes for instruction in the accepted methods of rhetoric. Afterwards,
a year was spent upon “the grand tour” through Greece and Asia Minor
where the chief temples and monuments of the Hellenic masters were
still to be seen _in situ_. This Greek education by no means changed
the Roman Republican into a Hellenistic Athenian. The Roman was never
more Roman than he was during the Republican age. Yet the same art and
philosophy served for both. In other words, peculiarly Roman thought
and emotion found no artistic expression whatever.

These facts compel us to retrace some of the ground covered in our last
chapter. Both upon the historical and the artistic side we are forced
back to the time when Republican Rome furnished the principal market
for the wares of the Hellenistic sculptor. We shall, however, regard
it from a different ground. Our review of Hellenistic sculpture only
interested us in as far as it affected Greece. We judged it from the
standpoint of the Greek artist. Now Hellenistic sculpture calls for
attention from the point of view of the Roman patron.

During the later Republican age—the period from the defeat of Carthage
to the rise of Julius Cæsar—Rome was filled with Greek sculpture.
Thousands of original Hellenic and Hellenistic works were carried
there. Numberless Græco-Roman sculptors spent their time in producing
copies of Greek masterpieces or designing variations upon well-known
and popular designs. The process of despoiling Greater Greece of its
art treasures began as early as the fall of Syracuse in 212 B.C.
Corinth was stripped in 146 B.C. by Mummius. Delphi and Olympia both
suffered. Even Athens itself was plundered by Sulla in 86 B.C. during
the war with Mithridates. Chryselephantine statues like the “Athena” of
Phidias and the decorative sculptures of the great temples were left
untouched, but so many works of the Greek masters were carried westward
that Myron, Phidias, Polyclitus, Praxiteles, Scopas, and Lysippus
became household names in Rome.

We moderns can only be grateful that Roman taste did _not_ prefer the
productions of its own native sculptors. Had it done so, the history
of Greek sculpture would have had to be reconstructed from stray works
like the Elgin and the Æginetan marbles, the “Charioteer of Delphi” and
the “Hermes” of Olympia. As matters stand, we have such books as those
of Pausanias and Pliny. We are, moreover, furnished with numberless
copies of the principal Hellenic masterpieces. True, these “copies”
are not “the real thing.” In many cases they are marble translations
from bronze originals, giving us, let us say, that intimacy with the
earlier Greek works which the Arundel Society’s prints, or large-sized
photo-gravures, afford about the Italian original paintings they
reproduce. In addition, the Roman preference for Greek sculpture
resulted in the production of many statues which, though they cannot
be directly connected with any original Greek work, are clearly little
more than variations upon popular Greek themes.


THE GRÆCO-ROMAN SCULPTORS

Generally speaking, throughout the first and second century B.C. none
of the Greek sculptors working in Rome departed far from the accepted
models. Some followed the general standards adopted by Praxiteles;
some those of Lysippus; others again preferred the more romantic style
of the school of sculpture at Rhodes. When new subjects presented
themselves, however, Roman taste began to exercise a direct influence
upon the work of the Hellenistic sculptors. We dwelt upon some of
the effects of the Roman influence when considering the “Farnese
Hercules”—the work of the Græco-Roman Glycon. It is equally well
illustrated by two fine bronzes which have been recently discovered
and placed in the Terme Museum at Rome. The first is the life-sized
warrior or athlete leaning on his spear, usually called “The Prince.”
It closely resembles such a work as the “Cerigotto Bronze” in general
style. Nothing except the tendency towards an accentuation of muscular
development and the fact that it apparently does not follow an earlier
Greek design mark its Græco-Roman origin.

[Illustration: THE SEATED BOXER Terme Museum, Rome]

The second is the “Seated Boxer,” a magnificently powerful presentation
of an utterly ignoble theme. The fighter is resting; he is waiting
for his call to another bout. Each hand is still cased in the leather
cæstus. The bruised and swollen features of the man are given with
savage truth. By reason of its entirely un-Hellenic subject, the
“Seated Boxer” affords as fine an illustration of the Græco-Roman style
at its best as can be given. We see the grand technical skill which led
the Roman connoisseur to give his commissions to Greek sculptors. In
the insistence upon realistic detail and the absence of a high ideal
guiding the choice of subject, we can trace the influence of a taste
far removed from any that Greek sentiment could have fostered.

Hellenistic works showing the influence of Roman taste as clearly
as the “Seated Boxer” are rare. The Roman collector, as a rule, was
perfectly content with a work which was practically identical with
some earlier Greek design. A close resemblance to a Greek original was
in itself a strong recommendation. The faithfulness with which Roman
taste abided by Hellenic sculpture is proved by the popularity of the
pseudo-archaic school of Pasiteles during the last days of the Roman
Republic. Pasiteles was an Italian Greek. Pliny says of him that “he
never executed any work without first making a clay model.” Excessive
care and excessive emotional sobriety were the keynotes of his style.
It is peculiarly interesting to note in the works of this school an
obvious revolt against both the sensuous tendencies of the followers
of Praxiteles and the theatrical propensities of the Rhodians. The
pseudo-archaic sculptors and the patrons for whom they catered had
sufficient insight to distinguish between the various epochs of Greek
sculpture, that is to say, between work imbued with Hellenic qualities
and work which was only Hellenistic.

This can be seen at once in the group by Menelaus known as “Orestes
and Electra” (Plate, p. 128), as good an example of the school of
Pasiteles as can be found. The sculptor has evidently imitated the
style of an Argive artist living just before Polyclitus. In other
words, the “Orestes and Electra” represents a reversion beyond even the
purely Hellenic style of Polyclitus. So successfully is this archaic
manner imitated by the Græco-Roman followers of Pasiteles that modern
experts can easily be in doubt, in the case of particular statues,
whether the style is real or feigned. Dr. Murray, for instance, has
suggested that the Vatican “Spartan Girl,” which is usually assigned
to the transitional period of Hellenic sculpture ending with Myron’s
“Discobolus,” is actually by a follower of Pasiteles. The likeness
of the “Spartan Girl” to the works of the followers of Pasiteles is
obvious.

With characteristics like these, how should statues of the school of
Pasiteles be classed? That they are not Hellenistic is plain. Equally
clearly the resemblance to Hellenic work is so close that it would be
absurd to regard the style popularized by Pasiteles as a movement
towards a Roman national art. Really a pseudo-archaic statue like the
“Orestes and Electra” represents a passing craze. It is the outcome of
the fancy of a few art collectors.

One may, however, argue that the popularity of such a school points to
a dissatisfaction with the accepted Hellenistic art of the latter Roman
Republic. Be that as it may, a genuinely Roman school of sculpture
arose directly after.

Roman social and political circumstances began to influence sculpture
soon after the year 50 B.C. One hundred and fifty years earlier, the
defeat of Hannibal and the fall of Carthage had left Rome with the
undisputed headship in Western Europe. Spain was in her hands and her
frontiers stretched to the Atlantic. In the East, however, Rome was
faced with the Hellenistic kingdoms of Macedonia, Syria and Egypt. One
by one these fell before her. Naturally, so tremendous a success was
not attained without social and political changes of the first order.
Even before the Punic Wars the inner ring of the Roman aristocracy had
lost its long-established monopoly of the great offices of State. At
the time of the fall of Carthage, the Senate was certainly the supreme
authority in Roman affairs, the various magistrates being no more
than its executive tools. But the aristocracy had been compelled to
recognize a new class of capitalist merchants which had established
a claim to Rome’s regard by its ready aid during the Punic wars. The
body which directed Rome’s expansion beyond the borders of Italy was
therefore composed of a blend of wealthy patricians and plebeians.
These were the patrons of the Græco-Roman sculptors. They were the men
who composed “the assembly of kings,” whose report the ambassadors of
Pyrrhus carried to their master. For close upon a century a senate of
this type guided the destinies of the Roman Republic.

By about 100 B.C.—we express time in the roundest of round numbers—it
had become apparent that the political foundations upon which Rome’s
career of conquest was based were radically unsound. No body of
men—even an “assembly of kings”—could deal with the multitudinous
problems which arose from an attempt to absorb the whole of the
civilized world. The first man to realize this, and to attempt a
practical solution of the difficulty, was Marius. Soon after 107
B.C. he proved that he understood the essentials of the problem by
reorganizing the Republican armies. He converted them into fit tools
for the first “adventurer of genius” by ordaining that the soldiery
should be paid by land grants and booty.

The reforms of Marius were none too early. Between 89 B.C. and 64
B.C. the wars with Mithridates of Pontus showed Rome its weakness.
Mithridates overran Asia Minor, Macedonia and Greece. Syria was
only regained by a gigantic effort. Then came “the adventurer of
genius”—Julius Cæsar—the founder of the Roman Imperial system. He was
followed by his son Octavius (Augustus Cæsar), the “Organiser of Roman
Imperialism.” These two men made Roman sculpture possible. On the day
that Cæsar and his eleven legions crossed the Rubicon with the cry “the
die is cast,” Roman sculpture was born.

The victory over Pompey at Pharsalia in 49 B.C. left Julius Cæsar
in supreme control. Brutus and Cassius led the Republican forlorn
hope, and Cæsar himself was murdered in 44 B.C., but he had achieved
his end. He had pointed out the only method of consolidating Rome’s
vast conquests and bringing peace to the sorely tried State.
Augustus realized at once the impossibility of reverting to the
discarded republican form of government. In its place he set up a
veiled despotism which enabled him to control all the energies and
resources of Rome’s great empire. As Imperator, Augustus made himself
commander-in-chief of the armies; as Princeps Senatus, he was leader
of the Legislative Assembly of the Senate; as Tribune, he acted as the
representative of Roman democracy; as Chief Pontiff, he was the head of
an all-powerful ecclesiastical organisation.

With the advent of peace Rome was able to turn her energies to art.
The consequences were immediate in all departments of culture. It was
the patronage of Mæcenas, the chief minister of Augustus, which placed
Virgil in a position to write the “Georgics.” By 19 B.C. the “Æneid”
was written in honour of Augustus. It was Mæcenas who provided Horace
with the farm among the Sabine hills, where the Roman lyricist and
satirist wrote all his later works.


THE RISE OF ROMAN PORTRAITURE

The effects of this social and political revolution upon sculpture
could not be more happily illustrated than by two portraits of the men
who brought them to pass. The “Julius Cæsar” is the well-known portrait
bust in the British Museum;[1] the “Augustus” is the equally famous
life-sized figure in the Vatican.

[1] See Furtwängler, “Neuere Fälschungen von Antiken,” p. 14.

In the first place, both are portraits. This emphasizes the prime fact
that the branch of sculpture chiefly affected was portraiture. It is
not difficult to surmise why this was so. In all other branches,
whether athletic statues, dramatic groups or sculptures of the gods,
earlier Hellenic and Hellenistic artists had produced works which
the unimaginative Romans could never hope to equal. The copies of,
and variations upon, the works of the Greek masters so fitted Rome’s
needs that little or no effort was made to produce new works of the
same class. But in portraiture this was not the case. In the nature
of things portraits cannot be so directly affected by an earlier
artistic method. The sculptors of Rome soon found that the methods of
their Hellenic masters would not yield the results required. The true
Greek portrait sculptor had never aimed at the realistic and life-like
representation which was the one desire of the matter-of-fact Roman
patron. As we have seen, the Greek had refrained from elaborating
expression. He portrayed an ideal type rather than an individualized
man or woman.

Take any typical Greek portrait as an illustration—the bust of
“Pericles,” in the Elgin Room at the British Museum, for instance.
Compare it with the “Julius Cæsar” in the same collection. We see
Pericles in the perfection of physical force and mental energy.
The ruler of Athens is more than a man. He is an epitome of all
that a Greek would be. There is no attempt at characterization. The
suggestion of voluptuousness in the lips, which heightens the work
so much, is really not an individual trait. It is rather an Hellenic
characteristic. It is part of an effort to express a type. But the
Roman sculptor of the “Julius Cæsar” never dreamt of embodying a whole
race in a single portrait—a philosophy in a statue. He was content to
give expression to the man before him. For this very reason the finest
Roman portraits possess a vigorous vitality which an Hellenic portrait
study lacks. As Pater expressed it: “The seeking of the type in the
individual, the abstraction of all that because of its nature endures
but for a moment, this involves loss of expression.” That is why the
“Pericles” is the portrait of a fifth-century Athenian and the Roman
work is the portrait of Julius Cæsar.

Exactly the same must be said of the great statue of “Augustus
addressing his Soldiers,” in the Vatican. Compared with the “Phocion,”
the “Augustus” is a carefully individualized character-study. The
tendency is not, however, carried to the extreme limit attained in
later Roman sculpture. The artist evidently hesitates to break entirely
with the idealistic method of the Hellenes. He willingly sacrifices
the chance of creating an eternal type, symbolizing the idea of Roman
imperialism incarnated in the first Emperor, preferring to convey the
impression of life-like portraiture. But he shows an ideal Augustus.
The statue does not convey the sensation of a moment of time—good, bad
or indifferent—captured and fixed for ever, which is so characteristic
of Roman portraits during the next century or two.

For this reason there is much to be said in favour of the view which
regards Augustan Rome as the last Hellenistic centre. It is still an
artist who is Greek at heart who is at work. But he differs from his
predecessors inasmuch as he is striving to give his Roman patrons a
thrill which they will feel to be national—to be truly Roman.

The Vatican statue of Augustus Cæsar was discovered in 1863. Apart from
its interest as a transitional work leading to the pure Roman style, it
claims attention owing to the light it throws upon the much discussed
problem of the colouring of marble statuary. We have previously noted
the fact that it is established beyond possibility of doubt that the
great mass of Greek and Roman sculpture was freely coloured. Traces
of pigment can still be found in numerous works, but the evidence is
insufficient to justify any really dogmatic utterances as to actual
methods. We have therefore preferred to do little more than allude to
the practice. The evidence furnished by the statue of Augustus is so
complete, however, that it suggests the desirability of a rather fuller
reference. The work was discovered in the Villa of Livia, near Prima
Porta. Otto Jahn, in his _Aus der Alterthumswissenschaft_, published in
1868, gives the following particulars as to its condition:

“The tunic of Augustus is crimson, the mantle purple, the fringe of the
armour yellow; on the nude portions of the body no traces of colour are
noticeable, except the indication of the pupils with a yellowish tint;
and the hair no longer shows colour. But the relief decorations of the
cuirass are painted with especial care, although the flat surfaces are
left without colour. The god of heaven, rising from the blue waves or
clouds, holds a purplish garment in both hands; the chariot of the
sun-god is crimson; before him soars a female with outspread blue
wings; the goddess of the earth wears a wreath of wheat in her blonde
hair. Apollo in a crimson mantle rides upon a griffon with blue wings;
the light haired Diana, in a crimson garment, is borne by a reddish
brown stag. In the middle stands a Roman Commander in blue and red
armour, crimson tunic, and purple mantle, with a blue helmet. A bearded
warrior in crimson tunic and blue trousers holds up a Roman standard
with insignia painted blue. The barbarian on the right, with auburn
hair, in a purple mantle, holds a war-trumpet; the figure on the left
is likewise light haired and clothed in a blue mantle.”

[Illustration: ORESTES AND ELECTRA (SCHOOL OF PASITELES) National
Museum, Naples]

[Illustration: AUGUSTUS Vatican, Rome]

We shall not refer to the problem of how generally Greek and Roman
sculptures were coloured again. M. Maxime Collignon, in his _La
Polychromie dans la Sculpture Grecque_, has collected the evidence
bearing upon the point. The “Augustus” shows how elaborate the process
must have been in many cases. It will, however, be worth while to refer
to two typical pieces of evidence supporting the view that the great
bulk of Greek and Roman sculpture was coloured.

In a wall-painting, once in Pompeii, now in the National Museum at
Naples, a picture represents a woman actually painting a statue.
It is a “Herma,” one of the popular figures of Dionysus set on a
quadrilateral base. The god’s hair is dark brown, the beard is grey
and the mantle yellow. A study of the wall paintings and mosaics
unearthed at Pompeii and Herculaneum gives the following result. Out of
eighty-one pictures of statues, fifty-nine are coloured completely. The
male figures are painted a ruddy brown, the female pink and white. Of
the others, fourteen are of a greeny brown tinge suggesting bronze.

Returning once again to our main argument: we have referred to Julius
Cæsar, as the father alike of Roman imperialism and Roman sculpture.
Roman national art was created when Cæsar and Augustus established a
political system which gave Italy peace after close upon a hundred
years of strife. It is not difficult to realize the relief with which
Italy must have greeted the new era. In the last few lines of the
First “Georgic,” Virgil has drawn a picture of the Roman world as it
had been until the imperial visions of Julius Cæsar had become living
realities for every Roman citizen under Augustus Cæsar. War was raging
everywhere. Corruption was rife. Agriculture was languishing. “The
crooked scythes are forged into rigid swords,” says Virgil.

With the advent of peace came the same desire to build which followed
the Persian war in Athens. The Augustan age changed Rome—to use
the well-worn metaphor—from a town of bricks to a city of marble.
The student of sculpture will do well to associate both events—the
coming of peace to the sorely tried Empire and the era of Augustan
building—with a slab of the great Ara Pacis which has been preserved
by a strange chance. The fragment shows Augustus, accompanied by his
family and the leading citizens and senators, going to the consecration
ceremony on July 4, 13 B.C.—the Independence Day of Roman Imperialism.
The Ara Pacis was built to honour the Goddess of Peace, in the style of
the Altar on the Acropolis of Pergamus. Just as the Altar at Pergamus
memorized the delivery of the Hellenistic state from the Gauls, the
Ara Pacis enshrined the fact that Rome was at last the acknowledged
mistress of the civilized world. Men could now dream of an era of
eternal peace; Rome set itself to enjoy the pleasures of intellectual
existence in a way that had been impossible amid the perpetual march
and remarch of armies and the rise and fall of factions.

It is true that the Roman Empire did not long remain at peace. But
Italy, at any rate, did not experience the horrors of war for some
centuries. The years of struggle had aroused a strong sense of
national feeling. The imperial system organized by Augustus set men
free to cultivate the arts of peace. Patrons with national instincts
and artists with the gift of expressing national feelings and
thoughts arose. In a few years, the tendencies shadowed forth in such
sculptures as “The Julius Cæsar” and “The Augustus,” became fixed, and
a national school of Roman portraiture sprang up. The characteristics
of the national style became more and more strongly marked.


THE HEIGHT OF ROMAN IMPERIALISM

(96 A.D. TO 117 A.D.)

The distinctively Roman portrait, untainted with any Hellenic or
Hellenistic admixture, is seen in the famous statue of the Emperor
Nerva in the Vatican collection. Here the artist has left the
idealistic methods of the Hellenic sculptors entirely behind. He has
depended upon the cunning use of realistic detail for his effect,
emphasizing the impression of life-like portraiture beyond anything
attempted in the Augustan age. Even the grace of a statue like “The
Augustus” has been sacrificed in the search for vigorous actuality. The
English equivalent of the new ideal is “Cromwell, warts and all.” But
one cannot but admire the magnificent judgment with which the realistic
detail is managed. There is nothing set down which does not add to the
vivid sense of a living portrait. As Wickhoff says in his fine study
of Roman art, “They gave an exact reproduction of nature, but with a
terseness which produced the desired impression of cold distinction.”
In the “Nerva” we have the Roman ideal in its most concrete form. Not a
word too much, but sufficient to ensure the impression of intense and
living reality.

Exactly the same tendency can be observed when the languages of the
two races are compared. The Roman—practical man—preferred a narrow
and concrete vocabulary. He willingly sacrificed flexibility of
expression to a businesslike conciseness. Hence arose his system of
inflectional speech, which is to be contrasted with the analytical
speech of the Hellenes with its particles and definite article. Just as
the inflectional language of Rome would not have expressed a quarter
of what the agile-minded Greek desired to say, so the methods of the
Roman portrait sculptor would have been valueless to the Greek to
whom philosophical _aperçus_ into the whole of human experience alone
seemed worthy of incarnation in marble and bronze. The Roman sculptor,
however, was quite satisfied with a narrow and concrete mode of
expression. He was content with an intensely concise method entirely
unsuited to the abstract thought and emotion in which the Greek had
revelled.

Our argument then has led us to this. Roman sculpture, far from being
a decadent anticlimax to Greek sculpture, is actuated by entirely new
ideals—ideals which arise out of the Roman nature. It is, therefore,
in the truest sense a national art. It embodies a temperament bearing
no possible relation to that of the Greek. For that very reason the
characteristics of Roman sculpture are most strongly accentuated at
times when the ideals embodied are most potent. The Roman imperial
spirit reached its climax in the age of Trajan (96 A.D. to 117 A.D.).
The statue of Nerva dates from the early years of Trajan’s reign, that
is a little before 96 A.D., when Nerva, who had raised his vigorous
lieutenant to imperial rank, died. For close upon a century the
tendency towards terse realism of the Roman method of portraiture had
been growing. When we picture a characteristically Roman figure during
the height of the imperialistic wave we can readily see why.

[Illustration: NERVA (DETAIL) Vatican, Rome]

What was the position at the time of Trajan himself? After securing
his frontiers in Northern Europe, Trajan passed eastward. He crossed
the Tigris and made a determined attempt to gain the control of the
overland trade with India. At the time of his death, the Roman empire
included Europe south of the Rhine and the Danube; in Asia it stretched
to the Euphrates.

What sort of men would be required to administer such an Empire? Can we
not picture them from our own experience of Empire-building? Imagine
for a moment that Trajan had established a permanent occupation of the
Punjab. It might well have been. As it was, he died after receiving a
check at the hands of the Parthians. What would Roman rule in India
have entailed? While the weaker states would have been absorbed, many
of the stronger ones would have entered the Empire as subject kingdoms.
The allies of Rome would, doubtless, have been rewarded with grants of
territory at the expense of the harder fighters. In other words, the
problem of government would have needed an infinity of administrative
tact, for all sorts and conditions of subject states would have had to
be appeased or held in subjection. The Roman governor of the Punjab
would have been in the first place a soldier. But he would only have
been guided in his general conduct by a rough _lex provinciæ_, so that
in practice he would have had to combine with his military duties
those of our Lord Chief Justice. It was not an age of cablegrams. The
decision upon a host of matters would necessarily have been in his
hands. So with his subordinates. They, too, would have had to solve the
nicest problems of practical administration every day—success being
their only justification.

These were the duties which Rome demanded of her sons. She educated
them for such posts as these. The circumstances in which the Romans
lived and the characteristics which their lives engendered, in turn,
reacted upon their art. As Mr. Dooley has told us, various nations
have various methods of treating “what Hogan calls th’ Muse,” when
they ask her “f’r to come up an’ spind a week” with them. A country
like Rome doesn’t expect her guest “to set all day in th’ hammock on
th’ front stoop, singin’ about th’ bur-rds. She’s got to do th’ week’s
washin’, clane th’ windows, cook th’ meals, chune th’ pianny, dust th’
furniture, mend th’ socks an’ milk th’ cow be day, an’ be night she’s
got to set up an’ balance th’ books iv an Empire.”

Mr. Dooley, of course, has Rudyard Kipling in mind. But the lines so
exactly fit the case of the Roman portrait sculptor, that we may well
pursue the analogy further.

Kipling is himself the product of political circumstances. He finds
expression for the vigorous matter-of-fact vision of an imperialism
that is nearly akin to that of Rome. Kipling joined the _Civil and
Military Gazette_ at Lahore when he was seventeen. He lived in India
during the formative period. At twenty-four he was back in England with
the essential features of his style fixed. The man the Roman State
required and for whom the Roman sculptor worked, was the man for whom
Kipling writes and whose ideals he expresses in throbbing prose and
verse.

But we may pursue the analogy even further. Rudyard Kipling and the
sculptor of the “Nerva:” Does a comparison of the styles of these
two artists reveal any innate resemblance? In both we see an intense
interest in strongly individualized humanity. Neither pays much heed
to grace or beauty—in the Hellenic sense of the word. Both are more
concerned with actuality than with the more shadowy realms of the
ideal. But most striking fact of all, the methods by which both express
their body of thought and emotion are strangely similar. Compare a
typical Kipling portrait with the “Nerva.” Let us say Miss Minnie
Treegan’s picture of Captain Gadsby.

“He belongs to the Harrar set. I’ve danced with him but I’ve never
talked to him. He’s a big yellow man, just like a newly hatched chicken
with an e-normous moustache. He walks like this (imitates Cavalry
swagger) and he goes ‘Ha-Hmm!’ deep down in his throat, when he can’t
think of anything to say. Mamma likes him. I don’t!”

This sketch gives us the heart of the Kipling style. Certain as the
day—cocksure, some might say. Photographically true? In a sense
only. Emphatic? As emphatic as capitals and apostrophes can make it.
Imaginative? Yes. If imagination be the faculty for creating a mental
image. These are the characteristics alike of the Kipling portrait and
the statue of “Nerva.” The sculptor is as emphatic in his message and
as certain in his delivery as the poet of English Imperialism. He has
not given a transcript of reality but has deepened the essential lines
until they speak with telling effect.

It is true that we miss the philosophical calm with which a Greek
sculptor would have treated such a subject as the imperial jurist
Nerva. But, in some ways we must admit that the Roman portraitist is
to be rated higher. If the impression that one is gazing upon reality
is the proper object of the portrait sculptor, the Roman gives us the
more life-like picture. But if the artist’s first function is to show
us nature, so that we may form our own judgment as to what is essential
and organic by the aid of his insight, then the Greek who carved the
very soul of men was the truer artist.

“Do you remember your mother, my dear?” was the question put to the
under-fed, under-clothed, Bermondsey waif.

“Yes, she was a stout woman, what beat me.”

It was a Roman answer, Roman in its magnificent brevity and
extraordinary directness. It typifies the artistic method of a society
which can spend no energy upon the production of men devoted to pigment
mixing and marble cutting for no better purpose than to dream dreams.
Something had to be sacrificed. The price Rome chose to pay was that
broad view of the world of nature and humanity which alone produces an
idealistic art like that of Greece. This is why when Rome finally began
to express its thoughts and emotions through marble and bronze it chose
a very different method to that of the Hellene. In Greece, the sculptor
had needed men and women, gods and heroes; Rome contented herself
with one branch of the art—that of sculpture-portraiture. Instead of
expressing herself by means of flesh and muscle, limbs and trunk, Rome
concentrated all her attention upon the human face.


THE REACTION UNDER HADRIAN

(117 A.D. TO 138 A.D.)

Surely it will be admitted that the facts and the historical
explanation fall beautifully into line. If further proof of the direct
connection between the ideas fostered by Roman imperialism and the
national school of portraiture is necessary, it is to be found in the
tendency to revert to a more Hellenic style when the imperialistic wave
recedes.

[Illustration: ANTINOUS Vatican, Rome]

Trajan was succeeded by Hadrian in 117 A.D. The former’s intensely
imperial policy had overtaxed Rome’s strength. The keynote of
Hadrian’s method was reaction against the forward policy which had
been paramount. Hadrian stopped the Parthian war. He abandoned Armenia
and the provinces beyond the Euphrates. All Rome’s efforts were
concentrated upon the task of finding out how to hold as opposed to how
to gain.

There is abundant artistic material in which to trace the effects of
this reactionary spirit, for Hadrian was one of the greatest of the
Roman builders. His efforts to beautify the cities of his Empire were
continuous. Temples and monuments were set up; theatres and baths
erected. The grand scale upon which he worked can be judged from
Pausanias’ statement that the Library of Hadrian was decorated with
one hundred columns of Phrygian marble—the walls of the surrounding
porticoes being similarly decorated. Or again, take the case of the
City of Antinopolis which Hadrian erected on the banks of the Nile to
the memory of his famous Antinous. The walls of Antinopolis enclosed
a rectangular space three miles in length. The great avenues that
ran through it were bordered by porticoes decorated with Corinthian
columns, the principal thoroughfares being ornamented with statues,
fountains, and votive monuments.

Upon examination it is found that the leading characteristic of the
great artistic wave of the age of Hadrian was a reversion to Greek
models. The Maison Carrée at Nîmes was erected at this time—the most
perfectly preserved temple in the Greek style now extant. During the
years 132 and 133 A.D., which Hadrian passed in Athens, he spent
immense sums upon rebuilding the city. Surely an additional proof
of his devotion to Greek art and culture. In all his tastes Hadrian
was a philo-Hellene—a “græculus,” as the Romans called him. When in
Athens he had himself initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries. His very
appearance witnesses to his preference for Greece and things Greek.
Instead of the clean-shaven face of his imperial predecessors, Hadrian
wore a beard after the Hellenic fashion.

Turning to the portrait sculpture of the age of Hadrian we can see the
influence of the Emperor’s instinctive preference for Greek modes of
thought and expression very clearly.

The most typical pieces are to be chosen from the numberless statues
of Antinous, in whose honour Antinopolis was built. Hadrian’s love for
the beautiful Bythinian youth was in itself rather Greek than Roman.
Looking at the “Antinous” in the Vatican collection, and comparing it
with the statue of “Nerva,” the reaction against the Roman preference
for a vigorous actuality is apparent at once. The “Antinous” is not
a portrait as much as the incarnation of a type. The expression of
brooding melancholy, rather than the features of the man Antinous,
characterizes all the statues of the Bythinian youth scattered through
the galleries of Europe. This is the Greek, not the Roman method.

[Illustration: MARCUS AURELIUS Rome]


POST-HADRIAN SCULPTURE

The last Roman sculpture to which reference need be made is the
well-known equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius in Rome. The highest
praise that can be accorded to it, is, that it can bear comparison with
the finest equestrian statue the world possesses—that of Colleoni at
Venice, the joint work of Verocchio and Leopardi.

A melancholy interest attaches to the “Marcus Aurelius” for the reason
that it signalizes the close of an artistic movement that had run its
course for more than eight hundred years. The transition from Greek to
Roman sculpture had been uninterrupted. Now, the art of sculpture was
to pass into the shades for almost the same period. Even in the days of
Marcus Aurelius himself, the world had dim forebodings of the Dark Ages
which were approaching. The effort with which Aurelius arrested the
flow of Germanic invasion was far from reassuring. To an Emperor such
as Trajan it would have spelt disaster. Every Roman capable of bearing
arms was enrolled in the forces defending Italy itself. The outposts
of the Empire—the Danubian provinces, for instance—were only saved
by the efforts of the barbarians. A Roman Elijah might have warned the
Empire of what Alaric’s boastful cry would be when asked what ransom
Rome should pay.

“All your gold, all your silver, the choicest of your treasures.”

“What then will you leave us?”

“Your lives!”

As the third century of our era advanced, the system upon which the
Roman Empire had been founded showed even clearer signs of breaking
down. The supply of capable administrators proved insufficient. Roman
citizens no longer took the keen interest in political affairs they
had of old. The men who had furnished the brains of the state in
earlier times abandoned themselves to lives of luxury and idleness.
The concentration of power in the hands of the few governors of real
ability and vigour led to a state of perpetual insurrection. On the
contrary, the counter-check of subdivision of provinces and powers,
devised by Diocletian and Constantine, led to the rise of a bureaucracy
which got entirely out of hand. The ideals of Roman imperialism passed
away. With them went the art of portraiture which they had fostered. An
effete empire led to an effete art.

As we have said many centuries were to pass before the Catholic Church,
which fathered the next great school of national sculpture—the
Gothic—realized the possibility of embodying its thoughts and feelings
in marble and bronze. The early Christians could never disassociate
sculpture from the religious beliefs of the Romans. The art was too
closely allied with a pagan faith to be acceptable to the new church.
This more or less accounts for the absence of a vigorous school of
sculpture in Italy between the fourth and the thirteenth centuries A.D.

The circumstances in Constantinople were not more favourable. During
the early years of the Eastern Empire Greek and Roman sculpture never
lacked appreciation. Constantine made his new capital an immense museum
of classical art. But when the Byzantine artist sought to express the
ideals of Christendom by means of sculpture he failed. All Byzantine
art tended to become more and more abstract and symbolical. It finally
became completely divorced from naturalism—the only sure ground upon
which a sculptor can stand. At the same time Christian thought and
feeling, which the Byzantine artist might have expressed, passed under
the control of a Church which would not recognize the rights of any
artist. No other explanation of the absence of a vigorous school of
sculpture during the Dark Ages is required than the recital of the
following decision of the Council of the Church at Nicæa. It refers to
painting. A similar decree issued by the Empress Theodora, however,
forbade any sculpture save low relief. Sculpture in the round was
denounced as entirely pagan. The Nicæan decree may, therefore, be
accepted as applying to any art effort.

It ran: “The composition of the figures is not the invention of the
painters but the law and tradition of the Catholic Church.... Nor is
this purpose and tradition the part of the painter (for his is only the
craft) but is due to the ordination and disposition of Our Father.”

Principles such as these ruled until about the tenth century, when
circumstances led to their gradual decay and the consequent rise of
a new school of sculpture. We shall see that this found a wealth of
material in Christian myths and personalities which had suggested
nothing to the craftsmen of Rome and Byzantium.



PART III

THE SCULPTURE OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE



CHAPTER VIII

THE GOTHIC SCULPTORS AND THE RISE OF ITALIAN SCULPTURE AT PISA.

(1000 A.D. TO 1350 A.D.)


The period between the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of
communal life in the Netherlands, Normandy, and Lombardy, saw sculpture
at a lower ebb than at any time for 1200 years. Such buildings as
Santa Sophia in the Eastern Empire and the basilicas of Ravenna in
the Western, stand to witness that the artistic sense itself was
still alive. But no great political or social force called forth the
craftsmanship of the sculptor. As the Dark Ages drew to a close,
however, a change came about. Mankind once more sought to find
expression for its deepest imaginations and beliefs through sculptured
marble and bronze.

We may roughly fix the date of the rebirth of sculpture at 1000 A.D.
Scientific accuracy would perhaps demand references to Charlemagne. The
historian of art, however, seeks causes of the greatest magnitude. He
must point to vast eruptions of human energy and emotion, not to brick
upon brick erections of paltry feelings, if he is to really account for
the creation of a great art. We are, therefore, safe in starting from
the feverish anxiety with which Christendom awaited the advent of the
year 1000 after our Lord. The Millennium had expired. Satan was to be
loosed. Men knew not what to expect. He who made a will or executed a
deed started with such a phrase as “Seeing that the end of the world is
at hand.” The very indefiniteness of the fears only served to increase
the terror. Month after month crept by. Nothing untoward happened. At
last the mystic year passed. The revulsion of feeling was immense, the
immediate result being an enormous devotional impulse, the evidence of
which remains to-day in the great number of ecclesiastical buildings
erected in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.

Let us not be misunderstood. The year 1000 A.D. was not the cause of
the new spirit. It simply marks the time. To understand why the men
of these centuries instinctively lavished wealth and labour upon the
cathedrals and abbeys and their sculptured decorations, we must picture
the social and political state of Western Europe at the time.

During the years following the break up of the Empire hordes of heathen
invaders had poured into the Roman world. The torrent was not stayed
until the age of Charles the Great. The first result of the beating
of this human tide upon the rocks of the old civilization had been a
fund of nervous energy unequalled since the struggle with Carthage had
produced vital force sufficient to enable Rome to conquer and rule
the Western world. But this fund of energy needed concentration and
direction. Politically, Western Europe in the eleventh century was a
heterogeneous collection of feudal states. It was soon evident that
the only common interests were those aroused by the belief in a common
religious creed. In the midst of a general social chaos, the only
really organized community was the Catholic Church. What wonder then
that, in search for some sure resting-place, Christendom submitted
itself to Rome? By the time of Gregory VII. (1073 A.D.) the occupant of
the Chair of St. Peter had become all-powerful. Hobbes’ picture of the
Papacy—the ghost of the Empire sitting crowned on its own grave—had
been realized to the full. As the Festival at Olympia had been the
rallying-point for the Greek world, so the meeting at Clermont,
where the First Crusade was inaugurated, witnessed to the only unity
Christendom could then imagine. This is why the artistic energies of
Western Europe after 1000 A.D. followed channels suggested by the Roman
Church.


THE GOTHIC SCULPTORS

For one reason and another, the first country to drag itself from the
intellectual torpor which had affected Western Europe for hundreds
of years was France. The commercial classes, particularly in the
north-west, shook themselves free from the dominion of the feudal lords
earlier than their brethren, say, in Northern Italy. As material wealth
increased, the French _bourgeoisie_ naturally sought for a means of
expressing its pride in the communal life which it had created. But
in doing so, it could not rid itself of the memory of the even deeper
emotions aroused by the realization of the co-ordinating power of
the Catholic Church. The cry, “A cathedral for Amiens, a city church
for Rouen,” made much the same appeal to the imaginations of these
Frenchmen as the idea of a Parthenon had made to the Athenians 1500
years earlier.

Previously the religious buildings had mostly been abbeys, and the
property of the religious orders. Now the laity desired to do what
they could. The finest French cathedrals were built by the great lay
guilds. Their foundations were planted in the very centre of social and
communal life. In this respect, the great Gothic churches of France
differ markedly from those of our own island. Nôtre Dame, Bayeux,
Chartres, Bourges, Rheims, and the rest are to be contrasted with such
a typical English Cathedral as Lichfield, which nestles among the
trees and makes, with the Close, a little world entirely apart from
the clatter and chatter of the market square. Just because a French
cathedral was so direct an expression of popular emotion, it was as
a rule a less balanced artistic creation. The builders of Salisbury
were not driven by the pricking desire to out-top the topmost which
impelled the French Gothic architects and masons. But the French
cathedral voiced more truly the inner feelings of the people to whose
heart-burnings and soul-aspirations it was due.

Turning now to sculpture, the circumstance common to the Greek temple
with its marbles and the French Gothic cathedral with its stone
decorations, strikes us at once. In both cases, the prime impulse
was civic pride. This is important. But it is even more necessary
to realize the essential difference—that the Gothic cathedral owed
even more to the inspiration of a great church and an all-powerful
priesthood. At the very outset we come upon the fact that whereas
the growth of Greek sculpture largely depended upon such a purely
human feeling as the passion for physical beauty, sculpture in the
Middle Ages was required to incarnate an entirely extra-mundane
emotion—the craving for an all-ruling and ever-living deity. It
was to this Coleridge referred when he said that “the principle of
Gothic architecture is infinity made imaginable.” Just as the Doric
temple—“Simple, erect, severe, austere, sublime”—was an echo of the
Greek spirit; so the Gothic cathedral, with its vast spaces and its
complex schemes of columns, aisles and chapels, ministered to that
mysticism which distinguished the Christian religion of Western Europe
from the crystal clear faith of Ancient Greece.

Some will remember William Watson’s lines “Upon a prelude or a fugue of
Bach.”

    “Contentedly, with strictest strands confined,
     Sports in the Sun that oceanic mind;
     To leap their bourn these waves did never long,
     Or roll against the stars their rock-bound song.”

That is the Greek view. How different is the Gothic. Again we turn to
William Watson—four lines upon “The Gothic Spire”:

    “It soars like hearts of hapless men who dare
       To sue for gifts the gods refuse to allot;
     Who climb for ever toward they know not where,
       Baffled for ever by they know not what.”

It is not an exaggeration to say that no great sculpture was produced
under the influence of the Gothic passion for mystic communion with
the Unseen. No one now remembers the name of a single Gothic sculptor.
Certainly, no one can recall a single statue of the period as a “joy
for ever,”—_the_ test of a work of art of the first order. May we not
infer that the art by which the religious instinct most naturally finds
expression is architecture, or, as experience has since shown, music?

The absence of sculpture of real beauty was not due to any lack of
opportunity. There were thousands of stone workers. As had been the
case with the Greek temples, the great Gothic cathedrals provided
abundant opportunities for sculptural decoration. In France the façades
of the great churches were often literally covered with carved reliefs,
and rows upon rows of statues. The purely architectural work served
merely as a background to one huge composition of statuary. The deeply
recessed portals and the galleries and columns of the interior were
equally designed to receive a profusion of sculptural decoration. The
triple portal of the west front at Chartres contained some 720 figures,
large and small, the tympanum in the centre depicting Our Lord in
Glory. Attached to the pillars of the doorways were numerous large
carvings representing the ancestors of Christ. The transept porches
were decorated with a similar profusion of statuary.

But whereas the sculpture of the Parthenon not only served perfectly
as an architectural decoration, but was also “a thing of beauty” in
itself, it was otherwise with the plastic decoration of a Gothic
cathedral. The Gothic architect had not the slightest scruple in
sacrificing the beauty of any statue for the architectural effect as
a whole. At times the Gothic sculptor’s deviations from nature were
almost uncanny. In his choice of a subject, and in his method of
representation, he was only concerned with the realistic presentation
of the beliefs of the Roman Church. His task was to translate the
mysteries of life and death into a language which the humblest
worshipper could not misunderstand. The well-known alto-relievo in
Bourges Cathedral affords a fine illustration of this phase of Gothic
art. The scene represents the torturing of the souls of the damned. We
are spared nothing. Everything is set down in all its naked horror. The
Gothic sculptor had his virtues. One was that he always told his story
clearly. He sought to suggest the ideals revealed by the Man Christ as
he understood them. His only aim was to give form to the new emotions
and thoughts which he believed arose from the teachings of the Church.
Can we help admiring the grand sincerity with which he kept his aim
ever in the foreground, and the wonderful fertility of his invention in
presenting the ideas he had to portray?

[Illustration: GOTHIC PANEL

THE LAST JUDGMENT A bas-relief from the porch of Bourges Cathedral]

[Illustration: GIOVANNI PISANO

THE ADORATION OF THE MAGI

A panel from the pulpit of the Duomo at Pisa, now in the Museo Civico,
Pisa]

Though the Gothic sculptor cannot be denied his meed of praise, an
equal candour compels us to admit that these are not the virtues of
a great artist. They are too utilitarian. Art lends its aid to make
religious ideas more persuasive, but it is, properly, neither religious
nor ethical. We realize this at once when we compare the Gothic ideal
with that which actuated the Greek in the days of Phidias.

How altered are the circumstances under which the two schools worked.
Let us catalogue them for the last time. The balance which the Greek
preserved between emotion and intellect was no longer regarded as
desirable. It was not even considered. Men had ceased to believe
that a right judgment accepted the limitations to human endeavour
set by the threescore years and ten of human life. Instead, there
was an overmastering passion to enter into conscious relation with a
mysterious power endowed with the faculty of controlling human destiny.

In place of the sunny myths of ancient Hellas, the Gothic sculptor drew
upon the superstitious perversions of Scripture which his age accepted.
The Church loved to dwell upon the wrath of God. The sculptor could
only follow.

Whereas the Greek had realized to the full the beauty of the human
body, and its possibilities as an emotional agent, the Gothic artist
appealed to men who had no reverence for the human form, rather to
those who despised it. Asceticism was rampant. Drapery was used, not to
display the beauties of the human figure, but to hide them. The art of
sculpture, which depends upon the perfectly developed human body and
the balanced human mind and heart for all the more impressive notes in
its song, could not flourish in such an atmosphere.

The differences between Northern France in the eleventh and twelfth
centuries A.D. and Greece in the fifth century B.C. at once show why we
must look elsewhere for a social state in which the art of the sculptor
could find sustenance. As we should expect we find this in a country
where Gothic architecture never achieved the brilliant success that
attended it in France and England. We mean, of course, Italy.

The culture of Gothic architecture never bore transplanting from French
to Italian soil satisfactorily. Many so-called Gothic cathedrals were
erected. But the Italian architects always leant towards the Roman
simplicity, and never multiplied the niches and columns in the way the
French architect did. As a consequence the opportunities for marble
and bronze decorations were greater than in the north, and the art of
sculpture at once took a firmer position.

But the chief reason for the immediate growth of sculpture in Italy
was not material but psychological. It depended not upon opportunity
but upon the mental and emotional temper of those to whom it appealed.
The Gothic architect in Italy did not adopt the methods by which his
French brother appealed to the mystic instincts of his countrymen,
simply because the Italian temperament was less eager to “dwell
overmuch among desired illusions.” With a far fuller emotional and
intellectual experience, the Italian did not feel, in the same degree,
what Matthew Arnold has called “that passionate, turbulent, indomitable
reaction against the despotism of fact.”

For many years the population of Northern Italy had been victimized by
the continual invasions which the Holy Roman emperors made against the
Pope. At first there were constant efforts to form leagues of townships
to combat Emperor or Pope. But the cities could not put large bodies of
fighters in the field, and their condition was deplorable. The great
struggle between Henry IV. of Germany and the Papacy aided by Matilda
and the Normans, brought matters to a head.

The remedy was found towards the end of the eleventh century, when each
town discovered that it could best serve its interests by acting alone.
In other words, the conception of a city-state was reached. During the
struggle in which bishop was pitted against feudal lord, feudal lord
against bishop, and both or either against Emperor or Pope, each city
developed a political individuality. Genoa became distinguished from
Pisa, and both from Milan in marked fashion. Nor was this all. It was
soon realized that the bond of citizenship was an asset that could
be used with magnificent effect. As had been the case in Greece, a
city with a few thousand burghers found it could safely face a power
apparently vastly stronger. The enthusiasm of every citizen was fired
in a manner unequalled since a similar concatenation of circumstances
had given Phidias and Praxiteles to the Ægean Peninsula. Finally, this
civic ideal did not entail the jettisoning of a hundred human ambitions
and emotions which were entirely foreign to the Roman Catholic Church.

A social philosophy began to arise in which human interests
predominated. Here was the very condition for lack of which Gothic
sculpture had been still-born.


THE PISANI

The city of Pisa is particularly identified with the rise of Italian
sculpture. Near the town lay the marble mines of Carrara. The Crusades,
by opening up the markets of the East and, particularly, Byzantium,
had done much to increase its material prosperity. The citizens
of Pisa, for instance, had contributed largely to the success of
the second Crusade. Their reward for assistance in the capture of
Jerusalem was a series of trading privileges extending over a great
part of the East. Pisan banks and warehouses arose in every port.
Material prosperity freed social life from many hampering conventions.
Economic independence proved the first step towards the consciousness
of intellectual liberty which was so striking a characteristic of
the Renaissance. Pisa was only nominally a republic. Its aristocrats
wielded power, and they realized, as Pisistratus had done in ancient
Athens, that their tenure of authority was held at the price of
magnificent schemes of public utility. The Cathedral was consecrated in
1118, and forty years later the Baptistery was finished. During this
time the Republic, owing to its successful campaigns against Genoa and
Lucca, became more and more powerful.

One of the principal results following the opening up of the Eastern
world was a revelation of the grace and beauty of the sculpture of
the ancients. The Pisans evinced a strong interest in the few works
of antiquity that could be found. The merchants eagerly competed for
one of the carved Roman sarcophagi which the Pisan fleets occasionally
brought over from the East.

Under these influences, the sculptors who were engaged upon the
decoration of Gothic cathedrals in Italy found themselves called upon
to add a beauty to their work which was not required in North-west
Europe. In their search for this beauty, the harmonious naturalism
lacking in the plastic arts prior to the thirteenth century was
attained. Craftsmen from Byzantium and architects and masons from the
North came to such a town as Pisa to educate a band of local artists.
They, too, drank deep at the well of Hellenic genius. The sculptors
of Italy still worked under the inspiration of the Catholic Church.
But, fired by the achievements of Greece, their work displayed a
natural grace far in advance of the realistic fables in stone which the
Northern artist fashioned or the symbolic pictures which the Byzantium
craftsman produced. Niccola Pisano (1205-1278 A.D.) was the greatest
Italian architect of his day and the wealth of his native town early
furnished him with opportunities for exercising his skill both as an
architect and as a sculptor. From Pisa, Niccola’s reputation spread
through Italy. As a sculptor he was influenced strongly by Græco-Roman
art. Being intended for Gothic buildings, his sculptural work has many
of the characteristics of the French style, but it shows the clearest
signs of classical feeling. It is true that he crowds the space he has
to fill with a multitude of figures, where the taste of the Greek would
have suggested a simpler scheme. His figures and drapery are heavy
when compared with the graceful forms of the Hellenic artists. But all
Niccola Pisano’s later work proves how thoroughly he appreciated, and
how earnestly he strove to attain, the stately beauty that pervaded the
art of Hellas.

Giovanni, a son of Niccola Pisano, worked between 1270 and 1330 A.D.
Giovanni Pisano, like his father, was a brilliant architect. As a
sculptor, however, he lacked Niccola’s sense of beauty, and he clung
too closely to the fantastic exaggerations of the Gothic artists.
He abandoned the ideal of tranquillity and self-restraint which his
father had learnt from the Hellenic example. But his technical skill
was so great and his efforts to give a passionate realization of the
scriptural scenes were so sincere that Giovanni’s best work shows a
force lacking in the sculptures of Niccola Pisano.

On the whole, the works of Giovanni prove that the influence of Niccola
was not very potent. This seems to be due to the fact that to the time
of his death the taste for sculpture was not general. It was rather
eclectic. It appealed to few beyond the ranks of the aristocrats.

Moreover, though Niccola had realized that “art must anchor in nature,
or be the sport of every breath of folly,” the conviction was not
general. The feeling for the beauties of the natural world was only
growing slowly. It came to the flood early in the thirteenth century,
and found its most intense expression in the sermons of Francis of
Assisi (1182-1226). It is idle to inquire whether the “First of the
Friars” taught the world to look once more for the beauties of nature
beneath the hard crudities of external phenomena. Certain it is that he
was one

    “Who heard the tale
     The low wind tells,
     Who read the rune
     Of moorland wells.”

[Illustration: NICCOLA PISANO THE PULPIT AT PISA]

Saint Francis never reached the modern conception of nature as the
embodiment of the divine spirit such as is found in the poems of
Wordsworth. It could not be said of him

    “None inlier taught how near to earth is heaven,
     With what vast concords Nature’s harp is strung.”

But his passion for the beauties of nature added a new note to the
prevalent interpretation of Scripture. Consciously or unconsciously, it
led him to a far more human conception of the Godhead.

As a result of the preaching of St. Francis and that of his followers,
all Italy clamoured for representations of the Christ and the Saints in
the new manner. The demand was first satisfied by the painter Giotto
(1266-1337). Under the influence of St. Francis, Giotto translated the
new Christian thought and emotion into terms of flesh and blood. He
pictured this living reality upon the walls of such a building as the
Upper Church at Assisi. He did for Italy what Phidias and Polyclitus
did for Greece when they gave material form to the Zeus and Hera of
Homer.

The sculptor most closely identified with Giotto was Andrea Pisano
(1270-1348). A pupil of Giovanni, Andrea carried the principles of
sculpture enunciated by Niccola to Florence. The city, at the time, was
one of the richest and most enlightened in Italy. It was, moreover,
the centre from which the naturalism of Giotto was spreading. Andrea
was always greatly influenced by his friend Giotto, and upon the
latter’s death carried through the architectural works upon which he
was engaged. But the words of Andrea show that Giotto’s influence upon
sculpture was not entirely for good. For some time after the great
painter’s death a distinctly pictorial character pervaded the works of
the Italian sculptors. Andrea Pisano, for instance, himself spent many
years in fashioning one of the great bronze doors of the Florentine
Baptistery. This contains some of the finest bronze work in the world.
Each panel is decorated with a scene from the life of John the Baptist
and each tells its story simply and clearly. But it is at once obvious
that the ideal at which Andrea was aiming was rather pictorial than
sculptural. At his death sculpture was no longer on the free road of
progress started by Niccola Pisano.

Our study of three centuries has therefore brought us to the following
conclusion. After centuries of effacement and years of struggle, the
art of sculpture has once more discovered the possibility of natural
expression. But it is still hampered by its ancient alliance with
sacerdotalism. This must be abandoned, and the sculptor must devote
himself wholly and freely to Mother Nature, and Mother Nature’s most
magnificent achievement—the human form. By no other means can a
standard approaching the Hellenic be reached. We are now to learn how
the bonds fashioned by the Roman Church were shaken off by the Italian
sculptors of the fifteenth century.



CHAPTER IX

THE RISE OF NATURALISM—LORENZO GHIBERTI, DONATELLO, VEROCCHIO, ETC.

(1400-1500 A.D.)


It will be remembered that the rise of Greek sculpture was a matter
of fifty or, at the most, seventy years. The Muse of the art did not
spring fully grown from the head of Apollo, it is true. But within
half a century the Greek craftsman realized the possibilities of his
materials; he discovered what subjects could be treated most properly,
and fitted himself to express the profoundest thoughts and emotions of
his countrymen. The result was Phidias and the Parthenon.

Yet by 1400 A.D. we have by no means reached the zenith of Italian
sculpture. In other words, after tracing the growth of the art for
a century we find that another hundred years is necessary before an
Italian Parthenon is possible. To what was the slower evolution of
sculpture in Italy due?

It might be suggested that marble and bronze were not the fittest media
to embody the teeming experience of fourteenth-and fifteenth-century
Italy. This is probably true. Seeing, however, that the sister art
of painting had lagged behind in similar fashion, we must trace the
deliberate growth of Italian sculpture to the lesser intensity of
the energizing force. The Italians were not stirred to the depths by
one heart-searching struggle like that between the Persians and the
Hellenes. The contention between city and city was, however, incessant.
Within the town walls, too, the strife between class and class was
constant. Apart, therefore, from the question of degree, we find in
the Italian city-states between 1350 and 1400 A.D. the same restless
vortices of intellectual and emotional energy which were the first
consequences of Marathon and Salamis.

As in Greece, these vortices were not of one type nor the creation of
a single centre. Florence certainly played the part in Italian culture
that Athens did in the growth of Hellenism. Of all the cities of Italy,
she was most completely in touch with the diverse influences which
humanized the arts. But the movement was not a matter of Florentine
culture. Just as had been the case in Greece, a hundred centres
produced personalities—men and women of every stamp. The theocracy
of Rome, the democracy of Florence, the monarchy of Naples, the
aristocracy of Venice, and the tyranny of Milan, all did their part.
All assisted to mould that grand complexity which we call the Italian
Renaissance The leaders of public opinion in all these centres, men and
women alike, were continually moving about. Artists were invited now to
one court now to another; scholars and poets were welcomed at Siena and
Ferrara as they were at Milan and Florence. Hence that all-embracing
experience of men and things, which must lie at the foundation of every
art which is not only to grow, but to live and bear fruit.

But it is one thing to realize the presence of a number of factors
favourable to a great art. It is a more difficult thing to estimate
the circumstances under which a large measure of this force and
experience was diverted into channels which made a Michael Angelo not
only possible but certain. The inquiry we are embarking upon is the
counterpart of that which we undertook with reference to the evolution
of Hellenic sculpture between 480 and 450 B.C. Apart from the longer
period occupied, we shall find that the most significant feature is the
resemblance between the circumstances which led up to Phidias and those
which led up to Michael Angelo. This is not surprising. Indeed, were
not many circumstances attending pre-Angelesque sculpture identical
with those in the first half of the fifth century B.C., our entire
critical method would be endangered. As a matter of fact, the identity
of circumstance is remarkable. What is even more important is that
where there is a really striking variation we can correlate it with a
corresponding one in the result. In other words, we can recognize and
account for the characteristics which distinguish the sculpture of the
Italian renaissance from that of Greece 1900 years earlier.


GHIBERTI AND THE GATES OF THE FLORENTINE BAPTISTERY

Turning to the facts: the new spiritual atmosphere, with its strong
artistic potentialities, which followed the preaching of St. Francis,
was much more favourable to the painter’s art than to that of the
sculptor. We have seen that Giotto was able to give adequate expression
to the dominant ideas of his age with much greater freedom than such
an artist as Andrea Pisano. This general tendency unfavourable to the
growth of a vigorous school of Italian sculpture, continued for a
long time. Its effect in turning the budding artist’s dreams towards
painting or influencing his work in unsculpturesque fashion cannot be
doubted. Perhaps this can be most fully illustrated by the subsequent
history of the doors of the Florentine baptistery. It will be
remembered that Andrea Pisano had erected the first of the three bronze
doors seventy years earlier. The political difficulties in the latter
part of the fourteenth century prevented the Florentines completing
the work. In 1403, however, as a thank-offering after the great plague
of 1400, the Guild of Florentine merchants decided to complete the
bronze doors of the baptistery. The commission was offered for public
competition and advertized throughout Italy. The account left by
Lorenzo Ghiberti, the eventual winner, enables us to realize the effect
of the news.

Ghiberti had been born in 1381, so that he was barely out of his
teens when the announcement of the Florentine Guild was published.
He had been educated as a goldsmith, a craft which always flourishes
when wealth is accumulating, civil disorders are frequent and banking
systems insecure. It provides a ready means of hoarding a small store
against a time of stress. But to an artist of ardent imagination
and real ambition like the youth Ghiberti, the narrow limits set by
goldsmithery were cramping. Reading between the lines, we can see that
he was seriously contemplating abandoning his own art for the more
expressive art of painting. He had indeed taken the first step. In
a passage from his own manuscript in the Magliabecchian Library, he
narrates:

“In my youth, anno Christi 1400, moved both by the corrupted air of
Florence and the bad state of the country, I fled with a worthy painter
who had been sent for by Signor Malatesta of Pesaro, and he gave us a
room to paint, which we did with great diligence. My soul was at this
time much turned towards painting, partly from the hope of the works
in which Signor Malatesta promised to employ us; and partly because
my companion was always showing me the honour and utility which would
accrue to me. Nevertheless, at this moment, when my friends wrote to
me that the governors of the baptistery were sending for masters whose
skill in bronze working they wished to prove, and that from all Italian
lands many maestri were coming to place themselves in this strife of
talent, I could no longer forbear, and asked leave of Signor Malatesta
who let me depart.”

Coming to Florence, Ghiberti found himself opposed to six of the best
sculptors of Italy. There was Filippo Brunelleschi, who afterwards
became famous as the architect of the dome of the Florentine Cathedral.
There was also Jacopo della Quercia, the Sienese sculptor, to whom we
shall refer again. Each competitor received “four tables of brass,”
and a year was given to prepare a panel representing the “Sacrifice
of Isaac.” At the end of the time it was evident that the contest had
resolved itself into a duel between Ghiberti and Brunelleschi. Nor was
there any doubt as to the winner. The panels of both men can still be
seen side by side in the National Museum at Florence. They witness to
the truth of Ghiberti’s boast: “The palm of victory was conceded to me
by all the judges and by those who competed with me. Universally the
glory was given to me without any exception.” The commission was dated
November 23, 1403. The Merchants’ Guild agreed to pay all expenses—the
sum eventually expended upon the pair of gates being 22,000 ducats. The
wages of his assistants, who included Donatello, Gozzoli and Uccello,
were defrayed by the Guild. Lorenzo himself received 200 florins a
year, for which he agreed to give all his time. He was bound to design
the panels and execute “the nudes, draperies, and all the artistic
parts with his own hand.” Upon the completion of the first pair of
gates, those executed by Andrea Pisano (1331-1334) were taken down and
Ghiberti’s gates erected in the place of honour facing the Cathedral.
Nor was this all. Twenty-five years had been spent already. Yet he was
ordered to furnish another pair—those which Michael Angelo called “The
Gates of Paradise.” They were unveiled in 1452, when they in their turn
displaced the earlier gates of Ghiberti.

The “Gates of Paradise” represent the zenith that sculpture could
attain, following the path indicated by the Pisani, who had been
compelled to work largely in relief owing to the necessity laid upon
them of being primarily illustrators of the Scriptures. Ghiberti’s
last pair of gates, therefore, merit a detailed examination. There
are ten panels, five on each door. Upon these are pictured scenes
from Old Testament history from the Creation to Solomon. In some of
the reliefs Ghiberti put as many as a hundred figures. Yet the panels
never appear crowded. Throughout there is a fine appreciation of the
story to be depicted. The beauty of the drawing of the nudes and of
the soft flow of the drapery is extreme. It is almost impossible to
select a panel which will illustrate all the charms of design and
beauties of technique with which the “Gates of Paradise” abound. If
one must choose, the panel upon which Ghiberti depicts the Creation
of Adam and Eve, the Temptation and the Expulsion from Eden, seems
to suggest itself. From it we can judge Ghiberti’s treatment of the
male and female nude. We can see how marvellously the sense of aerial
perspective is rendered by the gradual diminution of relief. The
figures nearest the eye are in high relief, the more distant forms
being raised to a less and less degree, until “the multitude of the
heavenly host” melt imperceptibly into the bronze background.

[Illustration: LORENZO GHIBERTI

“THE GATES OF PARADISE” Baptistery, Florence]

Technically—judged from the standpoint of workmanship in bronze—“The
Creation Panel” is beyond criticism. Comparing it with a painting by
Giotto, or, to take an artist of a later date, by Fra Angelico, we
feel, however, that something is lacking. Though the subjects depicted
are biblical, Ghiberti’s work lacks the spirituality which an artist
working under the influence of Giotto, consciously or unconsciously,
infused into his work. Italy in the fifteenth century had realized the
fallacies that underlay the narrow creed of the Church and the too
rigid philosophy of the Scholastics.

Ghiberti, like many another Italian artist, could not accept the
judgment of the extreme ascetics who saw in the beauties of the human
form only snares set by the devil to catch the souls of men. Whatever
may have been Ghiberti’s personal religious belief, as an artist he
knew that such a creed was impossible. He saw that the beauties which
the eye could see were his raw material. The mystical artists of the
Giottesque school would have cried with Watts, “I paint ideas, not
things.” Ghiberti worked upon the principle that an artist holding such
a creed only approaches success when he forgets his predilection for
ideas in the interest aroused by the beauties of the natural world and
particularly by the beauties of the human form.

At the very root of our argument lies the fact that these broader
and more human views are traceable to the growing influence of the
democracy in the Italian cities. It must never be forgotten that such a
work as the “Gates of Paradise” was in every sense a public work. Its
general design and its detailed progress were continually supervised by
the hard-headed burghers of Florence. When, for instance, Ghiberti was
instructed on January 2, 1425, by the consuls of the Guild of Merchants
to commence the third pair of gates, he was not free to choose his
own subjects. Here is an extract from the letter of Leonardo Bruni
d’Arezzo, the Chancellor of the Republic, who actually drew up the
general scheme. After detailing the subjects he added:

“It is necessary that he who has to design them should be well
instructed in every story, so that he may dispose the characters and
scenes to the best effect.... I have no doubt that the work as I have
designed it will succeed well, but I should like to be near the artist
that I may interpret to him the many meanings of the scenes.”

It was no small task which the good Chancellor set Ghiberti. Imagine
the feelings of a twentieth-century sculptor suddenly faced with a
demand to give expression to the following subjects in ten panels,
within the limits set by a single door.

             I                            II
    Creation of Adam.            Adam, Eve, and children.
    Creation of Eve.             The two sacrifices.
    Temptation.                  Death of Abel.
    Expulsion from Eden.         Curse of Cain.

            III                          VII
    Noah leaving Ark.            Moses on Sinai.
    Noah’s sacrifice.
    Noah’s drunkenness.

            IV                           VIII
    Abraham and the Angels.      Joshua marching round Jericho.
    The sacrifice of Isaac.      The Fall of Jericho.

             V                            IX
    Isaac.                       David and Goliath.
    Esau hunting.                Defeat of Philistines.
    The blessing of Jacob.

            VI                            X
    Sale of Joseph.              Queen of Sheba at Solomon’s Court.
    Pharaoh’s dream.
    Joseph’s brethren in Egypt.

Yet Ghiberti’s ingenuity was sufficient not only to make the designs
but to overcome the immense technical difficulties incidental to
carrying them out in bronze. Truth to tell, the commission should
never have been given to a sculptor. In addition to the difficulties
connected with his own art, Ghiberti was faced with the necessity of
adding architectural and landscape backgrounds to his reliefs. He
strove to solve problems of perspective which even the painters of
his day had not mastered. Indeed, for the designer of the Baptistery
gates, sculptural relief was rather a branch of the graphic arts
than a part of the plastic arts, governed by the rules and subject
to the limitations of sculpture. Ghiberti’s life’s work landed his
art in a blind alley. For further progress it was necessary that
sculpture should be once more informed with its own definite spirit.
Ghiberti, or rather his patrons, had failed to realize that sculpture
as a descriptive medium has its limitations. It cannot hope to rival
painting in the multiplicity of subjects which it can depict with
success. It must, therefore, confine itself to subjects which it can
express clearly and vigorously.


DONATELLO AND THE CHURCH OF OR SAN MICHELE

What was denied to Ghiberti was given to his assistant Donatello—the
foremost sculptor of the transitional period which preceded Michael
Angelo. By his example Donatello re-defined the proper limits and
the fittest objects of the art of sculpture. His life’s work was one
continued reiteration of the Hellenic lesson that sculpture is the
concrete expression of man’s joyful interest in the human form. To the
end, his figures never possessed the ideal grace with which Ghiberti
endowed a hundred forms in the Baptistery panels. But Donatello had
the essential quality of a true sculptor within him. He put aside all
desire to rival the painter. He willed to express himself by form and
form only. This fact alone invests his work with an importance and
interest in the history of pure sculpture which the more graceful
productions of Ghiberti cannot claim.

Donato di Betto Bardi, to give Donatello his correct title, was the
son of a wool-comber. He had entered Ghiberti’s studio as an assistant
in 1405, at the age of nineteen. His experience with Ghiberti gave him
the technical skill to carry out an ambition that dated from boyhood.
Before Donatello was thirty, the chances of the age gave him a series
of unique opportunities of making his dreams realities.

As we have seen, a new class of patrons had arisen in Italy with
fresh ambitions and ideals. In Florence, for instance, the mercantile
class had gradually ousted the German nobles who had ruled in fief of
the Emperor. By 1283 the wealthier guilds had established a form of
government delegating all power to members of their own class. Under
this Florence became more and more powerful. By 1406 Pisa was captured,
and the last stronghold of the feudal party in Tuscany had fallen.
During the last years of the fourteenth century Florence had prospered
greatly. Trade developed. The manufacture of silk and wool brought a
large measure of material prosperity. The pride of the burghers in
their city increased correspondingly. The erection of the Baptistery
gates must be regarded as only a single instance of a general tendency.
All over Italy the case was the same. The appreciation of sculpture was
no longer confined to a few score merchants and princes, as had been
the case at Pisa. It had spread from the cloister and castle to the
market square and the Guildhall.

The result of similar circumstances in the earlier history of sculpture
will be remembered. In fifth-century Greece a keen appreciation of
sculpture had been developed among a burgher population. Just as
the proceeds of the commissions for athletic sculptures provided
livelihoods for the budding artists of Greece, so the orders of the
Florentine burghers offered at least a competence to a struggling
Italian sculptor with a belief in the possibilities of his particular
art. What the commission for the Baptistery gates did for Ghiberti,
similar commissions did for Jacopo della Quercia, Donatello and the
rest.

In dwelling upon the importance of such material considerations as
these, we are in no way depreciating the zeal of either the Italian
or the Hellenic sculptor, by his old patrons, the Guild of Merchants.
It was followed by a long series of similar commissions. The Guild of
Moneychangers realizing the credit which attached to its rival, desired
Ghiberti to furnish a companion figure, “Saint Matthew,” which was
in its place by 1422. Finally, the Guild of Wool Merchants employed
Ghiberti to produce a “St. Stephen” for a third niche.

Long before this, other Florentine Guilds had joined in the
public-spirited competition. Moreover, other sculptors were discovered.
In 1416 Donatello had been commissioned by the Guild of Armourers
to model a figure for Or San Michele. The result was the well-known
“Saint George.” It was followed by the statue of “Saint Mark,” of which
Michael Angelo said “it would have been impossible to reject the Gospel
from so straightforward a witness.” The “Saint Mark” is a typical work
of Donatello’s first period (1405 to 1425). The whole conception of the
Apostle is based upon a foundation of stern realism. Gothic strength
rather than Attic grace is aimed at. Comparing it with such a work as
Ghiberti’s “Saint Matthew,” we see at once that an immense step forward
has been taken. The opportunity is nothing to Ghiberti. His deep
knowledge of perspective is valueless, of course. His ingenuity in the
elaboration of detail proves a drawback rather than an advantage. He
produces a graceful lay figure. So with the “Saint George.” Donatello
revels in the chance of sculpturing a life-sized figure. He makes the
masses and lines of the body tell. The ideal aimed at is the ideal of
the Greek sculptor, who felt that his true medium of expression was
the human form. Donatello has found the essentials common to all great
sculpture—the basis upon which the greatness of Greek art depends.
He has rediscovered the _a b c_ of the language of marble and bronze
which every sculptor must realize, whatever differences of thought and
emotion he seeks to express.

[Illustration: DONATELLO SAINT GEORGE From Or San Michele, Florence]


THE INFLUENCE OF THE PLATONISTS

This brings us to the great problem of fifteenth-century Italian
sculpture—its relationship to the art of Greece or Rome. Donatello is
frequently cited as the pioneer of the reviving interest in classical
sculpture. Following Vasari, the text-books tell of his visit to Rome
with Brunelleschi in 1403. They dwell upon the statement that Donatello
spent much time in arranging the collection of ancient sculpture in
the Medici gardens. Recent investigation, however, shows conclusively
that Donatello’s first visit to Rome was made in 1433. In any case, an
honest critic must admit that little evidence of direct Greek and Roman
influence can be observed in his works. Comparing the “Saint Mark”
with such a Hellenic statue as the “Phocion” in the Vatican or the
“Sophocles” in the Lateran, what strikes us most strongly is the entire
difference in the spirit animating the later work.

And this is equally true of the “Saint George” of Or San Michele, or,
to use a clearer example, the nude bronze “David,” now in the Bargello
at Florence. Technically, Donatello’s “David” can be compared with any
nude male figure, let us say the beautiful bronze “Narcissus” found at
Pompeii, and now in the Naples Museum. It is sculptured “in the round.”
It is complete in itself. It proves that at last the Italian sculptor
is on the high road for complete success. But in sentiment it is
utterly un-Hellenic. It possesses none of those external resemblances
to Greek statuary which we detect in the sculpture of Canova or
Thorvaldsen, for instance.

Truth to tell, the effort to trace evidences of a direct
traffic between one great art and another is based upon a total
misapprehension. No great artist can “lift” any considerable idea
from a work produced in an entirely different mental and emotional
atmosphere. What really happened was that a wave of enthusiasm for
Hellenic art and literature broke over Italy. The sculptors shared
in the humanizing effects of the realization of the true greatness
of Greek culture. One cannot point to the treatment of a fold of
drapery here, or to the pose of a torso there, and refer it to a Greek
original. But in the Italian sculpture of the fifteenth century we can
trace a breaking away from ideals which had held sway for centuries.
Inspired by the revelation of what liberty of thought and action had
done for the Greek, the Italian no longer prostrated himself before the
idols of Catholic dogma and scholasticism. Before Donatello’s death the
appreciation of classic culture was no longer confined to a few wealthy
dilettanti, as had been the case at Pisa a century earlier. Admiration
for the productions of the Attic philosophers and artists threatened to
become a religious force capable of engulfing Christianity.

The consequences were tremendous. Consider, for instance, the immense
difference between the educational methods and ideals. Compare those
which operated during the later years of Donatello’s life with those
of the earlier age, when education was entirely in the hands of the
Roman Church. Take a typical Italian schoolmaster, such as Vittorino
of Feltre. Picture his typical Renaissance school, “The House of Joy,”
on the shores of the Mantuan Lake. The spot was hallowed by the memory
that it had been the birthplace of Virgil. Nature had lavished upon it
avenues of planes and acacias. But dominating all was the grand aim
of Vittorino, “I want to teach my pupils how to think, not to split
hairs.”

[Illustration: DONATELLO DAVID Bargello, Florence]

Born at Feltre, Vittorino went as a youth to Padua, one of the leading
humanistic centres at the end of the fourteenth century. After a
period as Professor of Rhetoric, the ruling Gonzaga invited Vittorino
to Mantua to educate his children. This was in 1425, and Vittorino
remained there until his death in 1446. His first step was to abolish
the luxury which had environed the young Gonzagas. He made “The House
of Joy” a seat of plain living and regular study. Youths from other
courts flocked to Mantua. At his own expense, Vittorino maintained a
number of poor scholars, who lived near the villa and shared in all
the privileges of the school. Music and such elementary sciences as
geometry and astronomy were taught, in true Hellenic fashion. The
Latin classics were studied without the fantastic pedantries of the
ecclesiastical era. The grand truth was accepted that every man was
possessed of a free but responsible personality. Each one saw that his
task in this world was to mould his individuality, and by the exercise
of his own free will to prove how far he was above the brutes. The one
end of education was to make the boy or girl, not a specialist, but
a perfectly developed man or woman. The expert had no place in Italy
in those days. Throughout the Renaissance all education aimed at the
production of all-round men and women, physically, emotionally, and
intellectually sound.

It needs little imagination to see the effect of this general
acceptance of Greek ideals of life and conduct upon sculpture. It
rendered possible the production of hundreds of statues which would
have been meaningless a century earlier. Beyond this we may not go.
Every vital art must be largely indebted to the Greek tradition, and
Renaissance sculpture was no exception. But, in the end, a great style
cannot be transferred. A second-hand style, like a second-hand coat, is
apt to be an ill-fit. Taking a few typical fifteenth-century sculptures
we do not say “how Greek they are.” On the contrary, it is at once
apparent that the difference underlying Italian and Greek sculpture is
far more noticeable than any external resemblance.

When once we realize the cause, it is easy to see that it could not be
otherwise. In Italy, the relation of the individual to society differed
entirely from that in any Greek state. Whereas the individuality of
the Greek was constantly sacrificed to the interests of his state,
in Italy everything tended to the free emergence of individual
personalities. The Italian was in touch with no overpowering political
unity. Nothing hampered the attainment of personal ambition or the
satisfaction of personal passions. What he desired was not civic or
national success, but the foundation of a new age of art and culture
in which every type of individuality would have its place. The Italian
longed for individual fame, for individual power. This could not but
entail the loss of that grand unity of aim which was the great glory of
Athenian art. Instead, it led to the growth of a wonderful diversity
of character and an extraordinary variety of interests. Whereas the
Greek had been content to portray a few supreme types, the artist of
the Italian Renaissance wished to show humanity in every aspect. He
was not even content with the limits set by the bounds of grace and
beauty. The expression of spiritual tension and mental energy could not
be indicated without a departure from that harmony of the planes which
the Hellenic sculptor regarded as essential. The Italian boldly adopted
other means. He depicted with cruel emphasis the play of muscles and
tendons which accompanies physical and mental tension. His mission was
to present strongly individualized character. To him every human energy
was fit for sculptural treatment.

[Illustration: JACOPO DELLA QUERCIA

TOMB OF ILARIA DEL CARETTO Lucca Cathedral]

Reviewing our argument we find that by the last quarter of the
fifteenth century the art of sculpture was in this position. A long
series of remunerative public and private commissions had educated
bands of sculptors of real talent in several Italian centres but
particularly in Florence. Their work was held in such public esteem
that they no longer regarded themselves as mere artizans. Moreover,
while the sculptor had been making himself more and more capable of
expressing the thoughts and emotions of his countrymen, they, for
their part, were deepening and widening their experience. Not only
had they come to realize the manifold beauties of nature, but they
were learning man’s intimate relation with it. At the same time the
revelation of what the Greeks had done and what Hellenic culture
really meant was leading to an entirely new regard for mankind and a
desire to cultivate the whole, as opposed to a mere fragment, of the
human capital. In other words, while the sculptor was increasing his
power of interpretation, thoughts of the highest value and emotions of
real depth were being aroused. Comparing the sculpture of Ghiberti,
Donatello, Quercia, della Robbia and the rest, with that of the
Pisani a century earlier, it is seen that the essential difference
depends upon the general adoption of a new philosophical standpoint.
Previously, both the artist and his public viewed man from the heavens
and found him a drowning mite in an ocean of divinity. Now both looked
man in the face and recognized a brother, set for a time in the world
to witness to the abiding beauty of the Eternal Reality. In the
light of this conception, what had been negligible became of prime
importance. The shameful became entirely satisfying.

The truth of this proposition is seen at once if we look at a few
typical fifteenth-century works. Take, as the first instance, the
beautiful tomb of “Ilaria del Carretto,” by Jacopo della Quercia (born
1374). It was erected about 1406. The young wife of Paolo Guinigi lies
in simple garb upon the bier—the dog at her feet an emblem of womanly
faithfulness. Comparing the work with, let us say, the Pisan Pulpit
by Niccola Pisano, we are struck by the beautiful simplicity of the
design. The over-crowded detail has vanished. Instead we have a scheme
of monumental breadth. The difference in spirit is even greater. The
nude children, with their wreaths of flowers, which decorate the bier,
witness to the transition from the Gothic gloom to the Renaissance joy
in the beauties of the natural world.

[Illustration: LUCA DELLA ROBBIA

THE VISITATION Pistoja]

Turning to the works of an entirely different type, we note the same
tendency in the delightfully human bas-reliefs of the della Robbias. No
review of the art of sculpture would be complete without a reference to
Luca della Robbia’s marble Singing Gallery. “The Cantoria” was begun
in 1431 and was placed in the Cathedral at Florence in 1438. The taste
of the seventeenth century, however, demanded the substitution of
large balconies of carved and painted wood, and this singing gallery,
together with that of Donatello, was taken down. Luca’s carved panels
finally found their way to the Museo di Santa Maria del Fiore. Looking
at the panels, we first of all note the immense advance in technical
skill which enabled Luca della Robbia to represent the very poetry of
rhythmic motion in stone. We _note_ this. But we are _moved_ by the
human beauty of the whole conception. It is in a very real sense a
religious work. The sculptor has taken as his theme the one hundredth
and fiftieth psalm:

    “Praise ye the Lord ...
     Praise him upon the loud cymbals; praise him upon
           the high-sounding cymbals.”

But the religion of Luca is essentially human.

The figures from the “Singing Gallery” are so well known that we have
preferred to illustrate the art of Luca della Robbia by the beautiful
“Visitation” at Pistoja, particularly as it is a terra-cotta and,
therefore, recalls the medium in which the artist made his most
constant appeal to his countrymen. The “Visitation” is a comparatively
early work and shows that from the beginning Luca’s genius had little
in common with that of Donatello. He gives us no hint of the restless
search for knowledge which was the first consequence of the Italian’s
realization of the powers of humanity. Luca stands to Donatello, the
apostle of realism, as an Umbrian painter like Perugino stands to
Signorelli. But his quiet self-restraint witnesses to a human virtue at
least as noble—a trusting belief in the ultimate reign of peace and
love.

The last fifteenth-century sculptor to whom reference must be made is
Andrea del Verocchio (1435-1488). His “Doubting Thomas” still stands
in the niche of Or San Michele, where it attracted all Florence 400
years ago. It is a fine example of what a first-rate technique apart
from the fire of genius can produce. The lines of the drapery perhaps,
incline to angularity; the figures are somewhat rigid, but the group
is of real beauty and is conceived by a true sculptor. Whatever his
shortcomings, the artist realizes sculpture to be the medium of man’s
joy in the beauty of the human form. The fame of Verocchio might well
rest upon the “Doubting Thomas.” The name of the Florentine sculptor
is, however, associated with another work—the equestrian statue of the
Venetian commander, Bartolomeo Colleoni at Venice. That, at any rate,
is a work of the very highest order. It was unfinished at Verocchio’s
death, and was completed by the Venetian, Leopardi. No one can fairly
judge what measure of the success of the statue is due to Verocchio’s
earnest technique and how much to Leopardi’s fervid genius. In any case
the Colleoni monument fitly closes this review of Italian sculpture
during the fifteenth century. No more certain evidence of the capacity
of the pre-Angelesque sculptors could be adduced. To this day, the
nobility of the pose of horse and rider and the grandly martial spirit
pervading the work, mark it as the greatest equestrian statue in the
world.

Verocchio was born in 1435. He died when Michael Angelo was still a
boy. The period of his life must, therefore, contain the answer to the
final problem. Why was the acme of Italian sculpture reached at the end
of the fifteenth century? It can be no mere chance that Michael Angelo
produced his finest sculptures between 1495 and 1530. Why could it not
have been fifty years earlier? Some factor was clearly present at the
later date which had not been present when Verocchio was a boy. If it
had been there, it had not acquired its subsequent force. Reverting
for the last time to the Hellenic analogy we find the clue. Neither
the material factors—such as the commissions for public works and
memorial monuments—nor such a psychological factor as the broadened
sphere of human activity exhaust the circumstances which finally gave
Italy its Phidias and its Scopas. The last thing required was a series
of dominating personalities able to focus the emotion and intellectual
forces generated by the age. Florence, in fact, needed a Pericles.

[Illustration: VEROCCHIO “THE DOUBTING THOMAS” Or San Michele,
Florence]

These final co-ordinating factors were not denied. As in Greece, the
personalities were in the first place politicians. The outstanding
feature in the history of Italy during the fifteenth century is the
number of political, military and commercial figures of real vigour
and ability who rose to power. In one state after another they assumed
complete control of affairs. We have only to name the Visconti and the
Sforzas at Milan, the Gonzagas at Mantua, the Bentivoglio and Este
families at Bologna and Ferrara, and the Montefeltro family at Urbino,
to bring home their influence upon art. Most potent of all were,
of course, the Medici, who centralized the artistic enthusiasms of
Florence.

As had been the case in Athens, the domination of the Medici family
commenced with the harnessing of the forces of Florentine democracy.
The power of the Medici began when Giovanni de Medici succeeded in
making the lesser guilds the rulers of Florence at the end of the
fourteenth century. Giovanni had made an immense fortune by trade and
had established banks all over the peninsula which he readily turned to
advantage in furthering his political aims. Cosimo, his son, succeeded
to Giovanni’s popularity with the lower classes, and by carefully
concealing the mailed fist in the velvet glove reduced Florence to
the position of Athens when Cimon and Pericles ruled as the nominal
representatives of the people.

The climax was reached when Lorenzo the Magnificent succeeded Cosimo
in 1469. He so altered the constitution of Florence that it became
a republic only in name. A few years later he seized control of the
public purse and hypnotized the political judgment of his subjects.
Lorenzo was the Pericles of the Italian Renaissance. The energies
and interest of the Florentine burghers were focused around his
personality, and he it was that directed their efforts. As had been
the case with Pericles, the great glory of Lorenzo was the unfailing
tact which never interfered with the perfect freedom of action of the
varied natures with which he surrounded himself—the skill with which
he persuaded them that their intellectual interests were his own. His
Court was frequented by a brilliant band of scholars, and any youth of
ability was assured of patronage.

What was even more important, the young painters or sculptors were
brought into daily contact with the men and women who were moulding
public opinion and shaping history. Artists who had lived for a few
years in the Court of “the Magnificent” were far more than craftsmen.
They were cultivated men of the world, abreast of all the practical
knowledge of their time. It was among men like these that the sculptor
was found, able to give vital expression to even the manifold energies
of the Italian Renaissance.

[Illustration: VEROCCHIO AND LEOPARDI

THE COLLEONI MONUMENT Venice]



CHAPTER X

MICHAEL ANGELO AND THE FLOOD TIDE OF RENAISSANCE SCULPTURE

1490-1530 A.D.


The year 1475 A.D. has been reached. We have seen the conclusion of the
struggle of the sculptors to make marble and bronze bear once more the
impress of every imagination of the human heart. Nothing now remains
save to estimate the fruits of the victory—a task which entails the
appreciation of one man, Michael Angelo.

There is no exaggeration in focussing our attention on one
artist. The apotheosis of Italian sculpture connects itself as
inevitably with Michael Angelo as the topmost peak of Elizabethan
drama—Shakespeare—connects itself with the dramatic hills and
hillocks which led up to it. The first fifty years of Angelo’s life
were to Renaissance sculpture what the age of Phidias and Polyclitus
had been to Greek art. He and he alone found means to express in
marble the deepest thoughts upon nature and humanity which the Italian
Renaissance had aroused.

As had been the case with the Greek sculptors before Salamis, the
pre-Angelesque artists had never quite made their message articulate.
Indeed, the whole fifteenth century was a period of probation and
experiment. In the sister art of painting, the draftsmen and colourists
were realizing the possibilities of line and paint. The consequences
of their efforts were Raphael, Leonardo, Titian and Correggio. What
Angelico, Mantegna, Botticelli and Bellini were to the great painters,
Ghiberti, della Robbia, Donatello, Pollaiuolo and Verocchio were to
Michael Angelo.

But for the fact that Donatello and Ghiberti had raised the plastic
arts for the time far above the graphic, it might well have been that
sculpture would have been only a minor art to Michael Angelo. As
things were in his boyhood, though painting was every year reducing
the lead of the sister art, sculpture had still a far greater body of
achievement to its credit. From the first it was clear that sculpture
was the art by which his nature most naturally expressed itself. In
after life he was wont jestingly to remind his friends of his earliest
years among the mill-stone quarries of Settignano. He had been given to
the wife of a stonecutter to be nursed, and, as he put it, “with the
milk of my foster-mother I sucked in the chisels and mallets wherewith
I now make my figures.”

We do not propose to attempt the narration of even the main events of
Angelo’s life. We can put aside all that is merely personal. Our object
is rather to show how he came into contact with the main political and
social factors of his age, and how these, in turn, reacted upon his
art. Three circumstances single themselves out as all-important—the
sculptor’s connection with the Medici family in his early youth, with
the city of Florence in his early manhood, and with the Papacy in the
prime of life.

[Illustration: MICHAEL ANGELO

DAVID Academy of Fine Arts, Florence]

These three powers practically brought into being all that is greatest
in Italian art. From our sculptor’s association with them we can
understand the influences which were spurring Angelo’s few compeers and
his many inferiors to their greatest efforts.


THE FLORENTINE PERIOD

Like many another scholar and artist, Michael Angelo entered the
household of Lorenzo de Medici, the merchant-despot of Florence, as
a boy. Until his patron’s death he fared like a scion of the family.
While it would have been impossible for an impressionable youth to
grow up without imbibing something of the spirit of the place, Angelo
never thoroughly absorbed the influence of the Medicean court. The
time was too short. Before he was twenty it was a thing of the past.
But for some years the memory of these joy-days persisted, and it was
under their inspiration that the earliest of Angelo’s great works were
produced. Of these, the “David,” begun in 1501 and finished in 1503,
stands out pre-eminently as embodying the humanist creed.

But the statue of the great loose-limbed youth has an even more vital
interest. Nothing could more happily illustrate the relation a great
Renaissance artist bore to his countrymen than the circumstances
attending the carving of the “David.” It was commissioned by the
State of Florence. The first contract signed by the sculptor and the
representative of the town sets forth that “the worthy master, Michael
Angelo, son of Lodovico Buonarroti, Citizen of Florence, has been
chosen to fashion, complete, and perfectly finish the male statue,
already rough-hewn and called ‘The Giant,’ 13 feet 6 inches high, now
existing in the workshop of the Cathedral, badly blocked out aforetime
by Master Agostino di Duccio of Florence.” In other words, Angelo’s
“David”—one of the masterpieces of the world—was cut from a great
block of marble that had been so maltreated by an earlier worker that
no artist of rank could be found to risk his reputation in finishing
it. This alone would be sufficient proof of the immense technical skill
of this youth of twenty-six. In addition, Michael Angelo did not even
model a full-sized clay figure. He worked with no guidance except a few
drawings and wax models some eighteen inches high. His remuneration for
this was fixed at £2 6_s._ a month—workmen, scaffolding, &c., being
supplied. “When the said statue is finished,” continues the contract,
“the consuls and operai shall estimate whether he deserve a larger
recompense, and this shall be left to their consciences.”

History does not record whether the art committee of the Florentine
County Council eventually did add to the rather meagre remuneration
mentioned in the contract. We have ample evidence, however, that the
representatives of the citizens did not shirk their critical duties.
Vasari tells of a certain Gonfaloniere, who essayed to justify the
opinion that the nose of the David was too big. Angelo listened for
a while, and then ascended the scaffolding under which his critic
was standing. Taking a chisel in the one hand and a few pinches of
marble-dust in the other, the sculptor began to tap lightly around the
doubtful spot. From time to time he let fall a little of the dust, but
of course did not alter the nose. “Look at it now,” cried Angelo to
the Gonfaloniere below. “You have given it life,” replied his victim,
rubbing the dust out of his eyes.

[Illustration: MICHAEL ANGELO

MONUMENT OF LORENZO Medici Chapel, Florence]

[Illustration: MICHAEL ANGELO

“THE PIETA” St. Peter’s, Rome]

On January 25, 1503, a solemn conclave of artists resident in Florence
met in the Opera del Duomo to decide where the great figure should be
placed. Piero di Cosimo—readers of Romola will remember him—Cosimo
Rosselli, Botticelli, then a man of sixty-six, Filippino Lippi, and Da
Vinci were among those present. Francesco Monciatto, a wood-carver,
began by advancing the proposition that the statue should be put up
before the Duomo, the site proposed for the original work in fact.
Cosimo Rosselli and Botticelli supported the proposal. Giuliano di San
Gallo then suggested the Loggia dei Lanzi as an alternative on the
ground that the marble had been softened by exposure and might not
last. The “Second Herald” objected to this, fearing that ceremonies in
the Loggia would be interfered with, and his remarks called Leonardi
da Vinci to his feet. Finally Piero di Cosimo, a man of the soundest
common sense in spite of his reputation for freakishness, with the aid
of Salvestro, a jeweller, and Filippino Lippi, carried the proposal
that the choice should be left to the sculptor himself on the ground
that “he would know better how it should be.” Angelo’s decision was for
the steps at the entrance of the Palazzo Vecchio. The curious may see
it in position in the portrait of Francesco Ferruccio, the Florentine
general, in which Cosimo used the square in front of the Palace as a
background. The work is numbered 895 in the National Gallery collection.

But let us return for a moment to the Court of Lorenzo de Medici and
its galaxy of scholars and artists. The creed of the Court of the
Magnificent is summed up for ever in the great right hand of the
“David.” The sculptor purposely emphasized its size. Michael Angelo
desired to lay stress upon the part which the boy took in the struggle
rather than to portray him as a mere instrument. To have been at one
with the spirit of the biblical narrative, the weakness of the human
agent would have been emphasized—as it was, indeed, in the “David”
of Donatello. But the right hand of Angelo’s “David” stands for a new
view—the Greek view—of the part mankind must play in the world. Human
endeavour, rather than divine interference, is now to perfect man. By
his own effort, by the exercise of his own free will, man is to work
out his end.

The influence of this new conception upon the art of Michael Angelo is
equally noticeable in the “Pieta,” a rather earlier sculpture, and the
first work of our artist’s maturity.

The Virgin Mother is seated upon the stone on which the cross had been
erected. The dead Christ lies before her. The scene corresponds with
nothing in the biblical account. It illustrates no single verse. But
it does more. It breathes the very spirit of the Christian narrative,
for it interprets its inner meaning in its most vital and useful sense.
We can see at once that Angelo would have been false to his art had he
been more faithful to the current conception of Christian truth. He was
no preacher. He was not expounding a faith. What he took from the Bible
story was the divine grief of a mother for an all-perfect son. His task
was to translate that without the loss of one iota of physical or moral
beauty. Condivi tells us that there were many who complained that the
mother was too young when compared with her son, and that he himself
laid the matter before Michael Angelo for explanation. The sculptor’s
answer is an example of what a perfect humanist—and that is very near
to saying a perfect man—would have said. It is so characteristic of
the sculptor that no apology for quoting it at length is necessary.
“One day,” says Condivi, “I was talking to Michael Angelo of this
objection.”

[Illustration: MICHAEL ANGELO MOSES (TOMB OF JULIUS II.)]

“Do you not know,” he said, “that chaste women retain their fresh looks
much longer than those who are not chaste? How much more, therefore,
a virgin in whom not even the least unchaste desire ever arose? And I
tell you, moreover, that such freshness and flower of youth besides
being maintained in her by natural causes, it may possibly be that it
was ordained by the Divine Power to prove to the world the virginity
and perpetual purity of the Mother. It was not necessary in the Son;
but rather the contrary; wishing to show that the Son of God took upon
himself a true human body, subject to all the ills of man, excepting
only sin; he did not allow the divine in him to hold back the human,
but let it run its course and obey its laws, as was proved in his
appointed time. Do not wonder then, that I have for all these reasons,
made the most Holy Virgin, Mother of God, a great deal younger in
comparison with her Son than she is usually represented. To the Son I
have allotted his full age.”

The “Pieta” and the “David” are the typical works of Angelo’s first
period—that in which the influences of humanism were paramount. But
it is in the sculptures of his second period that we can detect the
workings of the deep philosophical poetry which inspired the most
characteristic of his works—the tomb of Julius II. and the monuments
in the Medici chapel at Florence.

Neither was ever finished. The Medici monuments are the more complete,
for the majesty of the sculptor’s first conception for the tomb of
Julius II. can now be only guessed from a few rough sketches, half a
dozen measurements and the well-known “Moses.” Yet it occupies a unique
place in the history of Italian art as the foremost work by an Italian
sculptor which arose directly out of the ambition of the Church to make
the Pope’s temporal authority equal his spiritual.

The principle of utilizing the painter, the sculptor, and the architect
for this purpose had been enunciated fifty years earlier. Recognizing
that the earlier aim, which had sought to enforce a spiritual despotism
by making the belief in a God-inspired pontiff universal, had failed,
Nicholas V. determined to try the effect of making the Pope into a
king. His court was to be the centre of European culture. With the aid
of the vast wealth poured into the papal coffers during the Jubilee of
1450, Nicholas began by making the Vatican quarter of Rome a veritable
stronghold for the sovereign pontiff. His full ambition was disclosed
when his will was read to the princes of the church assembled round his
deathbed. In this Nicholas V. showed that the Popes could be secured
from internal revolution and external force by one thing only. That was
by making the seat of the papacy so splendid in the eyes of Christendom
that it would possess the sanctity that had attached to Imperial Rome
itself. It was this great aim that Michael Angelo spent the best
years of his life in forwarding. The personal ambition of each Pope
interfered with the free progress of the great ideal, but it furnished
a strong motive for many years, and actuated both of Angelo’s great
patrons, Julius II. and Leo X.

After finally settling in Rome Michael Angelo’s first task was the
sculptured mausoleum of Julius II. Nicholas himself had started to
rebuild the old basilica of St. Peter, in which Julius designed to set
up his great tomb. Angelo suggested a great marble monument symbolical
of the victory of human energy over death. Upon the lower tiers of a
great pyramid the sculptor showed the arts and sciences which the Pope
had loved to patronize. Above were the prophets and graces, of which
the great statue of “Moses” was one. The apex of the pyramid was a
group in which the earth and the heavens upheld the open tomb where
the dead pope awaited the Resurrection hour. In all forty figures. The
vastness of the conception can best be realized from the fact that
the sculptor spent eight months among the marble mines at Carrara
quarrying the necessary stone. The space covered by the design was
about twenty-five feet by forty. It was soon found that the basilica
was not large enough to contain the monument. “What would be the cost
of rebuilding?” asked Julius. “100,000 scudi,” said the sculptor. “Let
it be 200,000.” And Michael Angelo set to work.

This great dream was never realized. The sculptor worked upon it for
some years and then Julius was persuaded to entrust him with a task at
least as great—that of decorating the vault of the Sistine Chapel in
the Vatican.


THE MEDICI TOMBS

For almost twenty years Michael Angelo produced no great sculpture.
Then came what are perhaps the greatest works of Renaissance sculpture,
the monuments in the Medici Chapel at Florence. They were executed at
the command of Clement VII., the second Medicean pope. His purpose was
to build an abiding testimony to the greatness of his house, which had
now become supreme in Italy by making itself as powerful in Rome as it
had been in Florence.

Evicted from Florence, the Medici had turned to Rome. Leo X., a son
of the Magnificent, had succeeded Julius. He in turn was followed
by Clement VII. To Clement came the idea of building a sacristy in
San Lorenzo in honour of the Medici family. His intention was that
monuments of Cosimo, Lorenzo, Giuliano, Duke of Nemours, Lorenzo,
Duke of Urbino, Leo X. and himself should be placed in the sacristy.
Only two—those to the Dukes of Nemours and Urbino—were finished.
A grim commentary upon the Medicean record, this. The two groups
actually completed are identified, not with the memory of Lorenzo the
Magnificent and Leo X., but with two illegitimate scions of the house.

The whole building was designed by Michael Angelo himself and was
panelled to receive the sculptures, every architectural feature being
planned to enhance the emotional effect of the great marble groups. In
these, Michael Angelo cast aside the pretty compliments upon which he
had exercised his fancy when planning the vast tomb of Julius II.—the
sorrowing arts and sciences, for instance. His aim was to create a
perfectly beautiful resting-place for the mighty dead. This, and
nothing more.

Let us endeavour to follow the train of Michael Angelo’s imagination
as it gradually found the definite forms which were to realize its
deepest beliefs: “A perfectly beautiful resting-place for the mighty
dead.” Could anything be more fraught with all the mingled emotions
and thoughts which human philosophy has tried in vain to unravel? Yet
Michael Angelo was never surer of anything than that sculptured marble
was capable of expressing it all. Even the feelings aroused by this
mystery of mysteries—death—were not beyond the cold stone and hot
chisel of the sculptor. Allied to this faith—that there was no thought
too profound for marble to express—was his favourite fancy that the
form of his finished work dwelt in the rough block. His chisel did but
release it from its marble tomb. He was not the author, only the agent
through whom his work saw the light. As he himself wrote in one of the
sonnets:

    “The best of artists hath no thought to show
     Which the rough stone in its superfluous shell
     Doth not include; to break the marble spell
    Is all the hand that serves the brain can do.”

[Illustration: MICHAEL ANGELO

THE DUKE LORENZO The Medici Chapel, Florence]

Moreover, he held that this could be done without the use of symbolism.
The simplest natural objects, transfigured by the artist-poet, would
carry the profoundest truth.

Let us see how Michael Angelo proved his belief in the all-sufficiency
of the art of sculpture in this respect. Choose two typical figures
from the groups we are considering.

          “Marble griefs,
    Hewn from a Titan’s heart,”

some one has called them. Say those of “Dawn” and “Night.” Both are
female nudes, and illustrate a vital feature in Michael Angelo’s
technique—his preference for the male over the female form. The Greek
sculptors before Praxiteles had the same preference. The male form
made a more vital appeal to them than the female. With its infinitely
greater variety of surface and its greater diversity of posture, it
expressed more directly the vast complexity of human energies which
their age had seen spring into being. Two thousand years later the
times gave rise to thoughts no less profound and to emotions of no less
intensity. And Michael Angelo found that they were too heavy a burden
for a woman’s form to bear. That the full sentiment aroused by his
conception of “Night” may find expression, the sculptor has lengthened
the trunk and the limbs. He has twisted the torso upon the hips. He has
added, as it were, a masculine character to the feminine form. He has
treated the female nude in the male key. This is a direct reversion of
the Praxitelean method by which profoundly beautiful sensuous effects
were obtained through treating the male figure in the female key—the
“Hermaphroditus,” for instance.

And yet it cannot be denied that the Praxitelean method is what we
should have expected Angelo to follow. If the figure of “Dawn” had
conveyed nothing save the virgin fairness of form which Giorgione’s
“Venus” at Dresden embodies, it would have been more in accord with the
popular taste of the first quarter of the sixteenth century. As the
political and social situation in Italy grew more desperate (and it was
never more desperate than during the years in which the monuments in
the Medici chapel were being carved) painting and sculpture had become
more joyous. The themes which the artists treated became less and less
religious and more and more pagan. This has always been the case. In
times of the greatest stress, when the enemy is beating at the very
gates, men cannot sustain the soul-tearing emotions which they welcome
in their art during times of prosperity. The defeat of the Athenians
at Ægospotami did not bring to birth a greater Æschylus who should
give shape to the fearful emotions which the men of the earlier age
had been spared. No! tragedy vanished. Comedy arose. So it was with
sculpture. Men turned from the griefs of a Niobe and found consolation
in the sheer sensuous beauty of Praxiteles’ “Aphrodite.” They preferred
the manly charms of Hermes to the awful sublimity embodied in the
brow of Phidias’ Zeus. And so in our period, when the horrors which
had overtaken the Greek cities were threatening their heirs in Italy,
the same thing took place. We find that the typical work is not the
brooding figure of “Lorenzo of Urbino” or the “Night,” which Michael
Angelo sculptured beneath the figure of Giuliano, but the melodious
dreams that floated from the brush of a Correggio. At this very time
Allegri was at work upon the decoration of the great chamber of the
Abbess of the Convent of St. Paul, Parma. He chose to depict no titanic
forms charged with emotion, but covered his ceiling with a vast trellis
of vine-leaves and fruit, and in the oval apertures which these formed
he placed his groups of genii toying with the implements of the chase.
Correggio’s was _the_ manner of his time. His end was sensuous delight
and through it, not the dramatic, but the lyrical note, continually
sounds.

[Illustration: MICHAEL ANGELO NIGHT]

[Illustration: DAWN From The Medici Chapel, Florence]

But Michael Angelo was too true a man to dole out lies which should
pander to a joyous carelessness. It was his task to echo, not one
emotion, but all the emotions which had stirred the Italy of his age.
As a mere boy he had seen the men and women who flocked to the Duomo at
Florence to listen to the denunciations of Savonarola. He had seen them
pass from the Church speechless—“more dead than alive”—because of the
great fear which was upon them. Before he was twenty, he had witnessed
the coming of the “Scourge,” which the fate had foretold. Then he had
passed to “the Eternal City,” the home of the Princes of the Church,
the centre of Christendom, only to find that, to borrow Symonds’s
phrase, “the very popes rose from the beds of harlots to unlock or
bolt the gates of heaven and purgatory.” It has been said that Michael
Angelo worked upon the Medici tombs during the siege of Florence in
1528. He may have been carving these marbles when the artillery of a
Medicean army was actually thundering against the Florence that Lorenzo
had made immortal. As his thoughts were thrown back by his subject
upon his boyhood days, memories of Savonarola—the Jeremiah of the
Renaissance—must have come back in a flood. Well may the sculpture in
the sacristy of San Lorenzo have been termed

          “Marble griefs,
    Hewn from a Titan’s heart.”

We shall not attempt to translate Angelo’s message into words, but a
happy chance has preserved a story which enables us to realize what
the sculptor intended to convey by the figure of the sleeping woman we
call “Night.” We might have guessed that the firm hips, contrasting
as they do with the long limbs and narrow form of the virgin “Dawn,”
symbolized the end of a life of suffering. Those worn breasts have
suckled many, and the mother, who has watched her children struggling
through the cruel breakers of life, is now herself at rest. The figure
of “Night” was never intended to carry the gay, sunny message that a
Botticelli felt and longed to give forth when he painted such a picture
as the “Birth of Venus” or the “Coming of Spring.” The story goes that
Giovanni Battista Strozzi wrote the following epigram, which he placed
beneath the marble figure. It ran:

    “The Night, that thou seest so sweetly sleeping,
     Was by an angel carved in the rude stone.
     Sleeping, she lives; if thou believ’st it not,
     Wake her, and surely she will answer thee.”

Angelo, seeing this, wrote in reply:

    “Sweet is my sleep, more sweet to be mere stone,
     So long as ruin and dishonour reign.
     To hear nought, to feel nought, is my great gain;
     Then wake me not; speak in an undertone.”

It is by the light of such an agonized philosophy that we must
interpret the life-work of Michael Angelo. He lived in the midst of a
society that was morally rotten. He saw a foreign foe at the very gates
of his native city. Could one, to whom “Art’s the witness of what _is_
behind this Show,” throw out careless hints as to the struggle the
spirit of man must face before it is released? The almost unnatural
poses in such sculptures as those in the Medici Chapel tell of the
vehement emotion with which the soul of their author contemplated the
“riddle of this painful world.” Michael Angelo would have been false
to his mission had he been content to aim at the graceful repose which
satisfied Praxiteles. His glory was to make sculpture—the most limited
of the arts in this respect—a vehicle for the expression of the
greatest of emotions and passions of which the human heart is capable.



CHAPTER XI

ITALIAN SCULPTURE FROM 1527 TO 1650 A.D. CELLINI, GIOVANNI BOLOGNA, AND
BERNINI


The aftermath of Italian sculpture is indissolubly connected with two
craftsmen of genius and an historical movement of the first order. The
men, Benvenuto Cellini and Giovanni Bologna, stand for all that is best
in Italian sculpture during the middle of the sixteenth century. The
movement—the Catholic Reaction—dominated the following seventy-five
years. Dating the periods a little more precisely, the genesis of
the earlier may be associated with the Sack of Rome in 1527 A.D. The
beginning of the second period may be roughly fixed by the Pontificacy
of Gregory XIII., let us say the year 1580 A.D. It reached a climax
with the advent of Bernini, the exponent _par excellence_ of the Baroco
style, whether in architecture or sculpture.

To bring to birth a Michael Angelo and to nurture his titanic genius
was the supreme effort of the Italian Renaissance in the cause of the
plastic arts. That is why post-Angelesque sculpture must be associated
with the rather depressing image of “the second harvest.” Compared with
the productions of the time of Donatello or the fifty years during
which the influence of Michael Angelo was all-potent, the Italian
sculpture of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries shows a
marked declension. The enthusiasm which had brought the genius of
Donatello and Michael Angelo to fruition was waning. Art was no longer
imbued with the old intensity of purpose and fervour of imagination.

For this very reason the century which followed the Sack of Rome is
of far less importance in the history of sculpture than that which
preceded it. But, as many of the phenomena of health are only clear
in the light of experience gathered from disease, the circumstances
which gave rise to the post-Angelesque sculpture of Italy possess a
unique interest. Against the background of comparative failure, the
essentials necessary to the production of vital sculpture stand out in
the clearest outline.

Starting from the premises that such an art as sculpture expresses the
deepest conviction of the people in which it arises, we are led at once
from the works to the social circumstances in which the emotions arose.
The briefest study of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy, shows
that all the factors which had lifted sculpture to the summit operated
no longer. The free burghers who had built and decorated the Church of
Or San Michele or commissioned the Baptistery Gates had been forced to
acknowledge the tyranny of a selfish nobility. A source of inspiration
like Lorenzo de Medici was replaced by the crew of degenerates who
represented the House of Medici in the sixteenth century. In the
Roman Catholic Church, too, the Reformation called forth sterner
qualities and less sunny energies. The Papacy was forced to relinquish
the ideals of Julius II. and Leo X., at any rate for a time. Above
all, intellectual life was entirely divorced from national feeling.
Politics—“the art of leading the majority, not where they wish, but
where they ought to go”—interested the individual, not, as in the
earlier age, the mass of the people.

We have then at our hand the key to the problem. A picture of Italy
between 1527 and 1580 will give us the source of the characteristics
of the art of Cellini and Giovanni Bologna. A sketch of the political
and social consequences of the Catholic Reaction will explain the
popularity of Bernini, the typical sculptor of our second period.

First, the politics of sixteenth-century Italy. The outstanding
feature of political life at this time was its utter instability.
With the solitary exception of Venice, every principality and city
was in a condition of constant ferment. State after state ceased to
possess the essential elements of political stability. They had been
ruined, for the most part, by the attempt to combine freedom within
the city walls with dominion beyond. During the first quarter of the
sixteenth century, the success attending the methods of Cæsar Borgia
had suggested that a combination of moral agility and political knavery
might produce the needful balance of power. The advent of the French,
the Germans, and later of the Spaniards, destroyed even this semblance
of political stability. Italian liberty became a thing of the past. The
old absorbing interest in politics vanished, and with it the clarity of
thought and logicality of form which public political discussion does
so much to foster. In such a country art _exists_. It does not _live_.
As Mazzini said two hundred years later:

“Without a country and without liberty we might perhaps produce some
prophets of art but no vital art. Therefore it is better for us to
consecrate our lives to the solution of the problem, ‘are we to have
a country?’ and turn at once to the political question. If we are
successful, the art of Italy will bloom and flourish over our graves.”

So much for the political state of Italy between 1527 and 1580. The
social was even more anarchical. No reference need be made to the moral
code adopted by the leaders of thought and action—to the organized
murder by hired bravi, to the general winking at adultery, to the
convent intrigues. A low standard of morals by no means involves a
low standard of art. But the peculiar viciousness of the morality
of sixteenth-century Italy seems to depend upon the connection of
this degraded moral sense with a general chaos of social order. The
condottieri of the age of Cosimo de Medici were replaced by banditti in
the pay of feudal nobles. The old respect for trade disappeared. With
the growth of the aristocratic ideals of Spain, the wealthy burgher
class, which had been the most stable element in towns like Florence
and Milan, vanished. Monopolies were granted to all and sundry. The
agents of the Italian princes and the Pope, together with the Spanish
viceroys, placed imposts upon all sorts of goods, regardless of the
necessities of commerce.

The prosperity of the great art centres of Italy decreased rapidly.
Take the case of Rome. A passage from the official report of the
Venetian envoy in 1565, Giacomo Soranzo, furnishes a striking contrast
between the condition of Rome in the mid-sixteenth century and
Rome when Michael Angelo was in his first vigorous youth. In 1565
the aristocracy consisted of a fluctuating nobility and priesthood
depending upon the largesses of the chief members of the Papal
Court. At times the population totalled 100,000. During an unpopular
pontificacy it fell as low as 40,000.

“The Court of Rome,” writes Soranzo, “is no longer what it used to
be either in the quality or the numbers of the courtiers. This is
principally due to the poverty of the cardinals and the parsimony of
the popes. In the old days, when they gave away more liberally, men
of ability flocked from all quarters. This reduction of the Court
dates from the Council; for the bishops and beneficed clergy being now
obliged to retire to their residences, the larger portion of the Court
has left Rome. To the same cause may be ascribed a diminution of the
numbers of those who serve the Pontiff, seeing that since only one
benefice can now be given and that involves residence, there are few
who care to follow the Court at their own expense and inconvenience
without hope of greater reward. The poverty of the cardinals springs
from two causes. The first is that they cannot now obtain benefices
of the first class, as was the case when England, Germany, and other
provinces were subject to the Holy See, and when, moreover, they could
hold three or four archbishoprics apiece together with other places of
emolument, whereas they now can only have one apiece. The second cause
is that the number of the cardinals has been increased to seventy-five,
and that the foreign powers have ceased to complement them with large
presents and benefices, as was the wont of Charles V. and the French
Crown.”

The consequence can be readily realized. There was the old demand
for pictures and sculptures. But quick returns rather than sound
accomplishment were required by the artists and their patrons. A
delayed commission would stand but a poor chance of payment. For it
would not fulfil its main purpose—the aggrandizement of a prince or
cardinal whose term of power depended upon the life of the Pope or the
tenure of office by such a ruler as one of the Medicean tyrants of
Florence.

Nor was this all. Not only were the circumstances less favourable
but the artists themselves were unfitted for the accomplishment of
the greatest tasks. The age, not the earthly parent, is the real
father of the man. Lesser spirits attempted to wield a giant’s tools
and struggled with themes which Michael Angelo oftentimes failed
to make articulate. They sought to obtain his sublime effects by
insistence upon such accidents of his style as the exaggerated muscular
development or contorted poses of his figures. Immense monuments,
suggested by the achievements of the earlier age, were called for. A
striving after exaggerated effect replaced the former determination
to base every work of art upon the accurate observation of nature and
the definite proportion of part and part. The later artists lacked the
simple reserve which is only given to men who see life steadily and
see it whole. In place of the deeps of Angelo, we find the shallows
of Giovanni Bologna and his even less gifted contemporaries. Just
because they are shoals, the turmoils surrounding them oftentimes
appear tempestuous. But they never suggest the tremendous power which
evidences the oceanic depths of the passions of a man who is not only a
sculptor but a seer.


BENVENUTO CELLINI

The character of a typical sixteenth-century Italian artist has been
preserved to us in the “Autobiography” of Cellini. From its pages
we can conjure up the lives of the men who made this fifty years of
Italian sculpture. Cellini, be it remembered, is no Bohemian hanging
around the outskirts of the artistic world. On his death in February
13, 1571, his brothers of the Accademia delle Belle Arti record:
“Messer Benvenuto Cellini was buried with great funeral pomp in our
Chapter House at the Annunziata in the presence of our Academical Body
and the Company.”

But the “Autobiography” pictures a born swaggerer, a swashbuckler—a
bully, if you like—though a gay-hearted genius withal.

Let us examine Cellini’s life story rather more closely. When little
more than a youth Cellini was banished from Florence on account of
an affray with a party of his fellows. Returning, a second affair
necessitated a flight to Rome, where he took part in the celebrated
defence of the town against the Constable de Bourbon in 1527. Once more
restored to favour in his native Florence, Cellini took upon himself
to avenge his brother’s death. A murderous affray with a notary and
an ultra-energetic manner of dealing with a rival goldsmith, ended in
the two years’ confinement in the Castle of Saint Angelo with which
all readers of the “Autobiography” are familiar. And in all these
excitements, Cellini is never in the wrong. “What I have done, I have
done in defence of that body which God has lent me.” Adopting the
_apologia_ which he attributes to one of the numerous Popes with whom
he came in contact, Cellini calls upon the world to recognize “that men
like myself, unique in their profession, are subject to no laws.”

[Illustration: GIOVANNI BOLOGNA MERCURY (_p._ 210)

Bargello, Florence]

[Illustration: BENVENUTO CELLINI PERSEUS

Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence]

These darker times heralded the halcyon days of Cellini’s life, which
began when he exchanged the dungeons of Saint Angelo for the court
of Francis I. With a salary of 700 golden scudi a year and the title
of “Seigneur,” Cellini joined the painters, sculptors and goldsmiths
whom Il Rosso had gathered together for Francis I. (the school of
Fontainebleau). Cellini’s work at this time is of small interest to the
student of the history of sculpture. In those days he was a goldsmith.
The great bronze personification of a water nymph, now in the Louvre,
shows that Cellini had already dreamt of fame as a sculptor. It equally
shows that as yet his conceptions would not bear the scrutiny a
life-sized design necessarily challenges. Cellini’s “Water Nymph” is a
glorified piece of goldsmithery.

But on his return to Florence in 1545, Cellini started upon a work that
was to silence all doubt as to his capacity to succeed in the realm of
pure sculpture. By this time Francis I. had tired of the hot-tempered
Florentine. Coming home, Cellini persuaded the reigning Medicean prince
to entrust him with a commission for a “Perseus” for the Loggia dei
Lanzi. The “Autobiography” gives a vivid account of the sculptor’s four
years’ struggle with circumstance. Now, the interest of the Duke and
his Duchess waned. Now, money, material, or both, were wanting. The
promised salary was not forthcoming. Qualified assistants were denied.
Constant quarrels with rivals added to these general difficulties.

We can realize a measure of Cellini’s troubles from his story of the
casting of the “Perseus”—one of the most vigorous romances in the
history of art. We take up the tale where the cast has been placed
in the furnace and the metal introduced. Disaster follows disaster.
Whether the details have been coloured by the vivid imagination of the
artist or no matters little. We hear how the heat sets fire to the
shop on the one hand. On the other, a rain-storm threatens to cool the
furnace, in spite of the stacks of pine that have been piled around the
statue and its metal casing. In the midst of the excitement Cellini is
suddenly attacked by a violent intermitting fever. “In short, I was so
ill that I was forced to take to my bed.” Cellini therefore left his
ten assistants to carry on as best they could.

“In this manner did I continue for two hours in a violent fever, which
I every moment perceived to increase, and I was incessantly crying out,
‘I am dying, I am dying!’

“My housekeeper, whose name was Mona Fiore da Castel del Rio, was one
of the most sensible and affectionate women in the world; she rebuked
me for giving way to vain fears, and at the same time attended me with
the greatest kindness and care imaginable; however, seeing me so very
ill and terrified to such a degree, she could not contain herself, but
shed a flood of tears which she endeavoured to conceal from me. Whilst
we were both in this deep affliction, I perceived a man enter the room
who in his person appeared to be as crooked and distorted as a great S,
and began to express himself in these terms, with a tone of voice as
dismal and melancholy as those who exhort and pray with persons who are
going to be executed: ‘Alas! poor Benvenuto, your work is spoiled, and
the misfortune admits of no remedy.’

“No sooner had I heard the words uttered by this messenger of evil,
but I cried out so loud that my voice might be heard to the skies, and
got out of bed. I began immediately to dress, and giving plenty of
kicks and cuffs to the maidservants and the boy as they offered to help
me on with my clothes, I complained bitterly in these terms: ‘O you
envious and treacherous wretches, this is a piece of villainy contrived
on purpose; but I swear by the living God that I will sift it to the
bottom, and before I die give such proofs who I am as shall not fail to
astonish the whole world.’ Having huddled on my clothes, I went with a
mind boding evil to the shop, where I found all those whom I had left
so alert and in such high spirits, standing in the utmost confusion
and astonishment. I thereupon addressed them thus: ‘Listen all of you
to what I am going to say; and since you either would not or could not
follow the method I pointed out, obey me now that I am present; my
work is before us, and let none of you offer to oppose or contradict
me, for such cases as this require activity and not counsel.’ Hereupon
one Alessandro Lastricali had the assurance to say to me: ‘Look you,
Benvenuto, you have undertaken a work which our art cannot compass, and
which is not to be effected by human power.’

“Hearing these words I turned round in such a passion, and seemed so
bent upon mischief that both he and all the rest unanimously cried out
to me: ‘Give your orders, and we will all second you in whatever you
command; we will assist you as long as we have breath in our bodies.’
These kind and affectionate words they uttered, as I firmly believe, in
a persuasion that I was upon the point of expiring. I went directly to
examine the furnace, and saw all the metal in it concreted. I thereupon
ordered two of the helpers to step over the way to Capretta, a butcher,
for a load of young oak which had been above a year drying, and had
been offered me by Maria Ginevra, wife to the said Capretta.

“Upon his bringing me the first bundles of it, I began to fill the
grate. This sort of oak makes a brisker fire than any other wood
whatever; but the wood of alder-trees and pine-trees is used in casting
artillery, because it makes a mild and gentle fire. As soon as the
concreted metal felt the power of this violent fire, it began to
brighten and glitter. In another quarter I made them hurry the tubes
with all possible expedition, and sent some of them to the roof of the
house to take care of the fire, which through the great violence of
the wind had acquired new force; and towards the garden I had caused
some tables with pieces of tapestry and old clothes to be placed, in
order to shelter me from the rain. As soon as I had applied the proper
remedy to each evil, I with a loud voice cried out to my men to bestir
themselves and lend a helping hand; so that when they saw that the
concreted metal began to melt again, the whole body obeyed me with
such zeal and alacrity that every man did the work of three. Then I
caused a mass of pewter weighing about sixty pounds to be thrown upon
the metal in the furnace, which with the other helps, as the brisk
wood fire, and stirring it sometimes with iron and sometimes with
long poles, soon became completely dissolved. Finding that, contrary
to the opinion of my ignorant assistants, I had effected what seemed
as difficult as to raise the dead, I recovered my vigour to such a
degree that I no longer perceived whether I had any fever, nor had I
the least apprehension of death. Suddenly a loud noise was heard, and
a glittering of fire flashed before our eyes, as if it had been the
darting of a thunderbolt. Upon the appearance of this extraordinary
phenomenon, terror seized on all present, and on none more than myself.
This tremendous noise being over, we began to stare at each other, and
perceived that the cover of the furnace had burst and flown off, so
that the bronze began to run.

[Illustration: GIOVANNI BOLOGNA

RAPE OF THE SABINES Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence]

“I immediately caused the mouths of my mould to be opened, but finding
that the metal did not run with its usual velocity, and apprehending
that the cause of it was that the fusibility of the metal was injured
by the violence of the fire, I ordered all my dishes and porringers,
which were in number about two hundred, to be placed one by one before
my tubes, and part of them to be thrown into the furnace; upon which
all present perceived that my bronze was completely dissolved, and
that my mould was filling; they now with joy and alacrity assisted
and obeyed me. I, for my part, was sometimes in one place, sometimes
in another, giving my directions and assisting my men, before whom I
offered up this prayer: ‘O God, I address myself to Thee, who, of Thy
divine power, didst rise from the dead and ascend in glory to heaven.
I acknowledge in gratitude this mercy that my mould has been filled:
I fall prostrate before Thee, and with my whole heart return thanks
to Thy divine Majesty.’ My prayer being over, I took a plate of salad
which stood upon a little bench, and ate with a great appetite. I then
drank with all my journeymen and assistants, and went joyful and in
good health to bed, for there were still two hours of night; and I
rested as well as if I had been troubled with no manner of disorder.”

All that splendid energy and craftsmanship could do, Cellini did. The
“Perseus” was finished in 1554 and placed in its present position in
the Loggia dei Lanzi amid the enthusiastic plaudits of the Florentines.
Of the vigour of the design there can be no doubt. The beauty of
much of the decoration of the base may be admitted. The figure of
the Gorgon at the feet of Perseus is instinct with passion. Note
the manner in which the right arm lies inert, while the lower limbs
are still palpitating with life. But one cannot but feel the loss of
intellectual beauty and breadth of outlook which might have enshrouded
a more philosophical conception of the Greek hero. There can be no
question about Cellini’s full-blooded, self-assertive vitality. At any
rate, the sculptor of the “Perseus” was no copyist. But he lived in
an age when the first spontaneous outburst of imaginative enthusiasm
had spent itself. Italy had given up thinking and feeling. So Cellini
could express nothing beyond his own passionate personality. He would
have approached Michael Angelo if he could have echoed the prayer which
Socrates sent up in that plane-tree glade on the banks of the Ilissus.

“Beloved Pan, and all ye other gods who haunt this place, give me
beauty in the inward soul; and may the outward and inward man be at
one.”

Giovanni da Bologna, or John of Douay, as he is also called, was
a sculptor of even greater natural talent than Cellini. He was
equipped with almost every gift that a sculptor can desire. It has
been well said of him that he had “the power of seeing a definite
idea incorporated in a form which is the distillation of all the
related sensations which go to make up the idea.” This is the Hellenic
gift—the essential characteristic of a man who has to express himself
by means of marble and bronze. With it went, in the case of Giovanni
Bologna, a wonderful feeling for the beauty of line. Technically, his
finest endowment was, perhaps, his unique power of expressing swift
movement—the best known example of which is the well-known “Mercury”
now in the Bargello. Giovanni images the Messenger of the gods as borne
on a light zephyr through space. The figure is the very embodiment of
energetic action. Yet the harmony which is essential to sculptural
beauty is never sacrificed.

[Illustration: BERNINI APOLLO AND DAPHNE Borghese Gallery, Rome]

[Illustration: BERNINI SAINT THERESA S. Maria della Vittoria, Rome]

But Giovanni Bologna, like Cellini, worked at a time when the force
of the humanistic revival had spent itself. He lacked two things,
either of which might have placed him among the immortals. One was
the perfection of taste which kept Praxiteles in the straight way.
The other was the philosophic depth which saved Michael Angelo from
overstepping the bounds that separate noble from ignoble art.

As it was, Giovanni Bologna’s craftsmanship continually led him astray.
He preferred to master a technical difficulty rather than to find the
one design which would vitalize an idea or emotion _of real worth_.
The consequence was such a work as the well-known “Rape of the Sabine
Women.” Primarily this group is a study in the contrast between the
strength and vigour of the male form and the shrinking softness of
the female. The knotty muscles of the man are sharply contrasted with
the soft flesh of the woman whom he bears off. The work is full of
beauties, whether we regard it as a design or a piece of modelling. It
was the precursor of a long line of similar statues, particularly in
France, where the influence of Giovanni Bologna was considerable. “The
Rape of Proserpine” by Girardon at Versailles is a good example.

But Giovanni Bologna’s “Rape of the Sabines,” considered as an incident
in the history of sculpture, is superfluous. The world is surfeited
with examples of the magnificent conquest of technical difficulties.
Looking at it critically, we are struck with the qualities it lacks
rather than with the qualities it possesses. In a sentence, it
witnesses to the characteristics of the age for which Giovanni Bologna
worked—its material outlook, and its utter neglect of that side of
human experience which, for want of a better word, we call spiritual or
divine.

It is with Giovanni Bologna as with Benvenuto Cellini. Some source
of inspiration is lacking. Both have lost the habit of artistic
worship. They no longer regard every blow of the chisel as in a very
real sense forwarding some extra human end. The statue to them is a
statue—nothing more. This had not always been the case. As we know it
was no empty phrase when Michael Angelo began one of his sonnets with
the words:

    “When that which is divine in us doth try
     To shape a face, both brain and hand unite
     To give, from a mere model frail and slight,
     Life to the stone by Art’s free energy.”


BERNINI AND THE CATHOLIC REACTION

Angelo really did believe in the divinity of his art. So did the
artists of the age succeeding Cellini, Giovanni Bologna, and
Sansovino. And it is this fact which adds an absorbing interest to the
sculpture of the period dominated by the counter reformation which the
sculpture of the previous half-century did not possess. The painters
and sculptors who came under the influence of the wave of religious
enthusiasm known as the Catholic Reaction fully realized that their
efforts were forwarding a great ideal. The patrons for whom they
worked, and the men and women to whom they appealed also felt that art
which dealt with such matters was of real consequence.

Looking at the problem after the centuries have cleared the air of the
dust of dogmatic discussion, we can see that a lasting settlement of
the religious controversy had become a necessity for every country
of Europe. We now know that, for one reason and another, peace could
only be secured upon a foundation of Protestantism in Scandinavia,
in Northern Germany, England, and Scotland. Over the greater part
of Southern Europe, Catholicism was finally proved to be essential.
Spain, Italy, France, ten of the seventeen provinces of the United
Netherlands, Poland, Bohemia and South Germany either declined to be
seduced from the authority of the Pope, or eventually returned to the
fold.

The fact that the problem was of European rather than national
importance, and the memory of the position the Church of Rome had held
throughout the middle ages, explains why its regeneration was felt to
be a social and political event of the greatest significance. During
the first half of the sixteenth century a king like Francis I., and an
emperor like Charles V., had reduced the occupant of the Papal chair to
the position of little more than a counter in the political game. Now
the Roman Church threatened to lead European thought and action as it
had during the Crusades.

The seeds of this regeneration were planted in 1542, when Paul III.
empowered Caraffa to establish the Inquisition in Rome. At the same
time Paul III. sanctioned the Company of Jesus. Caraffa himself became
Pope in 1555. His whole policy was inspired by a determination to
re-establish the political dominion of the papacy. Caraffa’s successor
Pius IV., made an immense step forward when he obtained the sanction of
the General Council of the Church to the principle of papal absolutism.
A more militant policy was at once possible. Added to this, Pius IV.
suggested a return to the older and more subtle forms of political
intrigue which the Papacy had used with such effect during the middle
ages. The change ushered in an age of emotions. Note the religious
origin of the numberless wars which convulsed Western Europe at this
time. Is it surprising that the circumstances which brought this great
change about added a passion, an imaginative glow, to the art of the
later sixteenth and earlier seventeenth centuries?

For several reasons, the religious enthusiasm which revivified
Italian painting and sculpture proved a poor substitute for the civic
enthusiasm of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries which it replaced.
The point we are making now is that for good or ill, the Catholic
Reaction added a vitality to art in general, and to sculpture in
particular, which had been absent for half a century.

The effects of the Catholic Reaction began to be felt upon Italian art
about 1580 A.D. Painting quickly offered its aid in spreading the new
ideals. Some time, however, elapsed before a sculptor of sufficient
genius arose to express the regenerated enthusiasm for Catholicism by
means of the chisel and the marble block. Giovanni Bernini (1598-1680),
who was born in the full tide of the Catholic Reaction, made sculpture
once more a living, social force. The influence he exercised over his
age is comparable with that exercised by Michael Angelo. Bernini was
a favourite of Maffeo Barberini (Pope Urban VIII.) and played a great
part in the reconstruction of St. Peter’s. He had a large school and
with the aid of his assistants produced numberless works. He brought an
art which had become alienated from every-day life back to the people.

Bernini’s services to sculpture may be likened to those of Giotto to
the sister art. What Giotto did for painting by allying his art with
the ideals of the Seer of Assisi, and the Franciscans in the thirteenth
century, Bernini did for sculpture by cementing an alliance with the
ideals of Ignatius of Loyola and the Order of Jesus. In both cases it
is impossible to separate the artist from the general body of thought
and emotion which it was his life’s work to express.

Let us look more closely into the ideals which arose with the returning
political power of the Church of Rome, and which were destined to find
expression in the marbles and bronzes of Bernini.

The necessities imposed upon the men who waged the battle of the Roman
church can be gathered from the fourth vow of the Order of Jesus.

“That the members will consecrate their lives to the continual
service of Christ and of the Popes, and will fight under the banner
of the Cross, and will serve the Lord and the Roman pontiff as God’s
vicar upon earth, in such wise that they shall be bound to execute
immediately and without hesitation, or excuse, all that the reigning
Pope or his successors may enjoin upon them for the profit of souls
or for the propagation of the faith, and shall do so in all provinces
whithersoever he may send them, among Turks or any other infidels, to
furthest Ind, as well as in the region of heretics, schismatics or
unbelievers of any kind.”

So far the ideals of the Jesuits were those of the earlier missionary
orders of the Roman Church—implicit obedience and whole-hearted
devotion. But Ignatius Loyola realized that the times had created
a fresh set of circumstances. These circumstances called for a new
“regula.” In a letter to Francis Borgia in 1548, the founder of the
Jesuit Order wrote—

“It is better to strengthen your stomach and other faculties, than to
impair the body and enfeeble the intellect by fasting. God needs both
our physical and mental powers for His service; and every drop of blood
you shed in flagellation is a loss.”

In other words, for the sake of enlisting the sympathy of those beyond
the bounds of the Catholic Church, Loyola was willing to jettison
convictions which had been held most strongly in an earlier age. It is
all important to realize that these were the very convictions which had
militated against a vigorous school of sculpture during the previous
papal dominion before the Renaissance. The fresh body of ideals and
impulses led to the creation of a new style—the Baroco. Taught by
failure, the Jesuit advisers of the Pope now sought the close alliance
with the arts exemplified in the sculptures of Bernini.

No more apposite example could be taken than Bernini’s group of “St.
Theresa” in S. Maria della Vittoria at Rome. It is an example of all
that is best and worst, and most characteristic, in the sculpture
of the Catholic Reaction. On the one hand, its striving after the
expression of passionate emotion tells of the intensity of faith which
animated the militant section of the Church at that time. On the other
hand, the vividness with which the scene is portrayed tells of the
determination to attract attention and compel comprehension, whatever
might be the æsthetic sacrifice.

It is almost impossible for a twentieth-century Englishman to describe
the “St. Theresa” group sympathetically. Bernini shows the saint
sinking back in an ecstatic swoon on to a marble cloud behind. On one
side an angel is discharging an arrow from the quiver of divine love.
Perhaps the real spirit of the sculptured scene can be best realized
from one of “The Advices which the Holy Mother Theresa of Jesus gave to
her children during her life,” which tells of one of these spiritual
trances.

“Once” (says the Saint) “when I was in the hermitage of Nazareth at the
convent of St. Joseph in Avila, it being the vigil of Pentecost; and
while I was reflecting on the exceeding great favour which our Lord had
bestowed upon me on that same day twenty years before, I was seized
with an ecstasy, and with strong impetuous and interior movements,
which quite suspended all my senses.

“While I was in this wonderful rapture, I heard our Lord speaking.”

It is no exaggeration to say that the true Hellene would have shuddered
at the very idea of visualizing such a scene. To have translated it
into marble would have seemed to the Hellenic sculptor in the last
degree immoral. But it was otherwise with the seventeenth-century
Italian. For the sake of the message—for the sake of the spiritual
thrill conveyed by such a group as the “St. Theresa”—he was willing
to dispense with the repose which had been everything to his Hellenic
forerunner. The historical critic can only accept the position. To
say that Bernini did wrongly, that his influence made for ill, is
really beside the point. The times were against him. But we can truly
say that, in view of the experience furnished by the Hellenic and
Florentine sculptors, an art other than sculpture could have more
properly expressed such scenes as the ecstatic transports of Saint
Theresa—possibly poetry, possibly music, certainly not sculpture.

Bernini’s reputation, fortunately, does not depend entirely upon works
executed as directly under the influence of the Catholic Reaction as
the “Saint Theresa” of S. Maria della Vittoria. In estimating his
genius we are not compelled to rely entirely upon the long series of
colossal groups packed with half-draped nudes in wildly fluttering
draperies which issued from his studio. His early work, “Apollo
and Daphne,” is an effort of extraordinary ability. The design was
wonderfully graceful, and the technical skill with which it was
worked out promised more abundant result than Bernini’s life’s work
eventually showed. For the rest the admirer of Bernini can point to
the magnificent series of fountains which he designed and erected. Of
these, the “Fountain of Trevi” stands supreme.

The death of Giovanni Bernini in 1680 marks the end of the last effort
to keep Italian sculpture alive. The works of Donatello, of Angelo,
of Cellini, of Bologna, live to-day. But vital sculptures embodying
national or civic aspirations or the ideals of that truly Italian
institution, the Roman Catholic Church, were produced no longer. For
more than a century, Italian art effort practically ceased. Foreigners
came to the great sources of inspiration in Italy, drank, and returned
to carry a measure of the precious fluid to their homes in the North.
But the Italian knew that “the outward and the inward man” were not at
“one.” He felt that “Beloved Pan” would not bestow that “beauty in the
inward soul” which had made Greek sculpture a joy for ever. A single
sentence of Mazzini gives the historical explanation:

“The Pope clutches the soul of the Italian nation; Austria the body,
whenever it shows signs of life; and on every member of that body is
enthroned an absolute prince, viceroy in turn under either of these
powers.”



PART IV

MODERN SCULPTURE



CHAPTER XII

THE ART OF MONARCHICAL FRANCE

(FROM FRANCIS I., 1515 A.D., TO THE FRENCH REVOLUTION, 1789)


Among the commonplaces uppermost in latter-day thought is that which
usually finds expression in the phrase, “For East is East, and West is
West, and never the twain shall meet.” Whether this dogma be ultimately
true or not it certainly enshrines a far-reaching truth. The difference
between the typical Eastern and the typical Western mind goes down to
the deepest philosophical beliefs of both. The circumstances under
which the two types have been moulded differ so widely that they hardly
appear to move on the same mental plane.

But the Eastern and the Western are not the only types which offer the
strongest contrast the one to the other. Between the North and the
South, too, there is a great gulf fixed—a vital historical fact which
Heine has expressed with unforgettable vividness in two short stanzas.
In the first, he pictures the black fir-tree on the bald hill-brow
of the North. He speaks of its icy garb, and shows it sleeping and
dreaming amid the eternal snows:

    “It sleeps and dreams of a palm-tree,
       Far off in the morning land,
     Lonely and silent, pining
       On a cliff o’er the shimmering sand.”

For thousands of years the great mountain chains of mid-Europe cut off
the man in the North from the man in the South, as completely as the
barren steppes of Eastern Europe and Western Asia divided East from
West. To this very day the long winters and cool summers, the sombre
skies and deep forests, have operated to produce a body of thought
and emotion in the North of Europe that differs entirely from that
nourished under the clear skies and in the warm winds of Italy and
Greece. The mysticism of the Northman, his yearning to be at one with
the Ultimate Reality, is foreign to the typical Southern intellect—as
foreign as the dim forests, in which the mystical gloom of the Northern
imagination arose, are to the fruitful plains in which the sunnier
creed of the Southerner had its birth.

These general considerations prepare the way naturally enough for a
review of the history of sculpture in Northern Europe. Hitherto we have
considered the progress of the art in Italy and Greece. The sunny human
creed of the Southern temperament, at any rate, was able to find full
expression in marble and bronze. Can we say as much for the mystical
philosophy of such countries as Germany, France, Holland and England?

The influence of the prevailing trend of thought can be clearly traced
in several northern arts—in architecture and music, for instance—or,
again, in a Rembrandt portrait. Surely this is as typical a product of
the northern imagination, with its mysticism and gloom, as a picture by
Botticelli or Correggio, with its wealth of fancy and its delight in
light and space, is of the southern temperament.

But, turning to the work of the northern sculptors, we cannot say
this. The deepest emotions of the northern artist have found more
natural expression in the drama, in poetry, music and painting. The
reason is not far to seek. All these arts are far more universal in
their range. Sculpture depends entirely upon so human a thing as
the body of a man or a woman. It is naturally more fitted for the
exposition of a creed in which mankind occupies the chief place.
Equally naturally, the other arts serve better for the unfolding of a
belief which bases everything upon the will of an extra-mundane God,
manifesting Himself not in man alone but in the whole of the natural
world.

Be that as it may, it is certain that when we turn to the sculpture of
the North, we find few traces of the mystical outlook upon life which
is implicit in other northern art. By the time the sculptors of the
North had acquired the technical skill to express their thought and
emotion they apparently found themselves unable to embody their deepest
belief in their works. This, no doubt, explains why sculpture has never
been a popular art in any Northern country, why it has never occupied
the place there which it did in Greece or Rome; why it has always been
a stranger art, making its appeal to the few and not to the many.

It must not be imagined that the failure of sculpture to take a strong
hold upon the popular imagination of the North has been due to the
absence of craftsmen of the first order. Directly the Renaissance in
Italy made itself felt in the countries beyond the Alps, a vigorous
school of sculpture arose. Nothing could exceed the technical skill and
the sincerity of purpose displayed in Peter Vischer’s “King Arthur,”
one of the twenty-eight colossal figures surrounding the tomb of
Maximilian at Innsbruck. But seeing that the sculptor died in 1529,
and that the best years of his working life practically correspond
with the age of Luther’s Reformation, surely something more than
earnestness of purpose and profound technical skill might have been
shown. The Maximilian memorial certainly proves that the leading German
sculptors of the Reformation era had progressed beyond the Gothic
decorators whom they succeeded. But why has not the “King Arthur” the
vital interest of a Durer engraving? Why does it lack the inspiration
of a really fine Holbein portrait? Surely it is because the sculptor
had never realized the true meaning of the word “humanity.” He lacked
that passionate delight in the beauty of the human body which lay at
the root of the Hellenic sculptor’s success. The vital element of a
vigorous school of sculpture was wanting. Under these circumstances it
is not wonderful that even the standard of craftsmanship attained by
Peter Vischer was not maintained by the German sculptors who followed
him. The conversion of Germany to Protestantism entailed a general
discouragement of all art effort. As had been the case in the early
history of the Christian Church, the leaders of the religious movement
sternly opposed anything that satisfied the æsthetic cravings of
mankind.

[Illustration: PETER VISCHER

KING ARTHUR The Maximilian Tomb, Innsbruck]


THE AGE OF FRANCIS I.

Fortunately this sternly anti-humanistic creed was not adopted
throughout Northern Europe. In particular, it failed to find acceptance
among the Frenchmen who made their country the first power in Western
Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. As in Germany,
the growth of an independent school of sculpture in France dated from
the early years of the sixteenth century when the influence of the
Italian Renaissance began to spread beyond the peninsula. The French
equivalent of Peter Vischer was Michel Colombe. Colombe was the
_tailleur d’images_ to three kings of France, Louis XI., Charles VIII.,
and Louis XII. His best known work is the tomb of Francis II., Duke of
Brittany, at Nantes. But it is rather as the founder of the school of
sculpture at Tours that Colombe claims our attention.

Early in the sixteenth century Tours was the foremost art centre in
France. Fouquet, the miniaturist, who died about 1480 A.D., was a
native of the town. Jean Clouet (Janet), the portrait painter, also
lived at Tours for some time. About 1520 there was an official studio
in the town, presided over by Babou de la Bourdaisière with a full
complement of sculptors, jewellers, engravers, and painters. The chief
product of the school of sculpture at Tours was the long series of
Royal Tombs at St. Denis, set up by the French kings of the sixteenth
century. It is here that we can best estimate the capacity of the
earliest native French sculptors.

The similarity in the general design of the royal tombs at St. Denis
is so marked that almost any example would be equally illustrative.
In many respects the most representative is that of Henri II., upon
which Germain Pilon worked for sixteen years. It is remarkable for
the magnificent kneeling figures of the French King and Catherine
of Medici. But, perhaps, from the historical standpoint, a more
instructive example is the tomb of Louis XII., by Jean Juste. This was
removed from Tours to St. Denis in 1531. It therefore represents the
sculpture of a period midway between Michel Colombe and Germain Pilon.

Jean Juste’s design is of a highly conventional character. As in the
tomb of Germain Pilon, the central figures are the nude corpses of the
King and Queen, rendered with a realistic fidelity which, at any rate,
commands respect. Above the tomb Louis and Anne of Brittany figure
again. This time they are pictured as in life and fully dressed. The
keynote of Jean Juste’s work—its vigorous truth—is the same as that
pervading Peter Vischer’s “King Arthur.” Like the work of the Nuremburg
sculptor, it is devoid of real charm. It entirely lacks the emotional
quality which attracts us in Quercia’s “Tomb of Ilaria del Caretto,”
though five hundred years have passed since it was set up in the
Cathedral at Lucca. Unlike the Italian sculptor, the French artist has
failed to realize the peculiar power of marble and bronze as a medium
of artistic expression.

Even in the days of Jean Juste (about 1530), however, a change was
beginning. It became an accomplished fact a few years later, when the
French sculptors finally abandoned the effort to express the thoughts
and emotions of the masses and accepted the lesser responsibility of
catering for the needs of the few. The importance of French sculpture
during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries arises
entirely from its association with the dominating factor in the history
of the time. The age in which France was the first power in Europe was
an age of the _few_, not of the many. This fact entailed the loss of
much that might have been stimulating. But, at any rate, it enabled the
sculptor to appeal to those who were shaping the history of their time.

Roughly, the political situation was as follows:

As the sixteenth century advanced it became evident that France
could only preserve its place in the councils of Europe through an
all-powerful monarchy. The earliest French king to realize this was
Francis I., who succeeded to the throne in 1515 A.D. He was then
twenty-one years of age. He proved to be the first Renaissance king
of France, as Louis XII., his predecessor, had been the last mediæval
monarch. Francis’ experience during the early years of his reign showed
the absolute necessity of concentrating the resources of France into
the hands of the king. His first step was naturally to deprive the
French nobility of the power it had exercised in the past.

The effect of this general policy upon sculpture was instantaneous.
If Julius Cæsar and Augustus were the fathers of Roman portraiture,
Francis I. was the creator of what we term French sculpture. In the
first place, Francis was forced to create an imposing Court where his
turbulent nobles could be tamed into courtiers. This required the
building of palaces where the reformed Court could meet. In other
words, circumstances compelled Francis I. to be a great builder. The
fortresses, which had been necessities during earlier centuries, were
needed no longer. These were either suffered to fall into disrepair
or the gloomy buildings with their turrets and moats were replaced by
manorial châteaux with their lawns and their bowers. Naturally the king
led the way. Equally naturally the necessity of building compelled him
to become an energetic patron of the decorative arts. When Francis
started to put up the Château of Chambord he employed such sculptors as
Goujon, Bontemps, Cousin and Germain Pilon as a matter of course.

Francis’ greatest effort was the building of the Palace of
Fontainebleau. It was begun in 1528. In a very short while he found
that he could not rely upon French native talent for the extensive
decorative scheme which he had planned. The discovery was not a new
one. As early as 1495 Charles VIII. of France brought “makers of
ceilings and turners of alabaster” from Florence and Milan. Cardinal
d’Amboise, the minister of Louis XII., persuaded a number of Italian
artists to try their fortune in Paris. He also installed several others
at the Château de Gaillon. In those days the art instinct in France was
dead. At the time when Raphael was working in the Vatican, the walls of
the Cardinal d’Amboise’s castle at Gaillon were decorated with leathern
hangings or simply-patterned cloths. No Frenchmen had considered the
possibility of decorating his living rooms with pictures.

Under these circumstances Francis I. was compelled to turn to Italy.
First Rosso and Primaticcio were summoned. A few years later, in 1537,
Cellini accepted an invitation and spent some time at the French court.
We can judge of the artistic enthusiasm of the kind and the marked
change in the general appreciation of art owing to the growth of Court
life from a spirited chapter in Cellini’s “Autobiography.”

While Cellini was in France, Primaticcio had been sent to Italy to
collect art treasures on behalf of the king. The painter returned with
the moulds of some of the most celebrated statues of antiquity. Bronze
castings were made from these at the foundry at Fontainebleau and the
statues were finally set up in the long gallery at Fontainebleau ready
for the king’s inspection. They included the Vatican “Ariadne,” the
“Apollo Belvedere,” the “Laocoon,” the “Aphrodite of Cnidus” and the
“Hercules Commodus.” Cellini had certainly some ground for complaint
when he found his silver statue of Jove placed in such a company, and
it is not surprising that he attributed the chance to the envy of
his rival, the painter. Readers of the “Autobiography” will remember
the wealth of artistic detail intended to “add verisimilitude to an
otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative” with which Cellini narrates
how the malice of Francis’ mistress, Mme. d’Estampe, was used against
him. The visit of Francis to the gallery was delayed until evening
in the hope that Cellini’s silver statue would appear mean among the
ancient masterpieces with which it was to be shown. Of course the
wayward Florentine was fully equal to the emergency. He placed a great
torch in the hand of Jove and ordered his assistant to avoid lighting
it until the king had passed the rest of the statues and was inspecting
the silver one. The flood of light produced the effect which Cellini
had anticipated. It was the modern statue, not the old-time bronzes
which appeared the more effective.

The experience of Cellini at the Court of Francis I. proves that
sculpture in France had now a body of influential and appreciative
patrons—the first essential of a strong art movement. As we have seen,
these patrons had very solid reasons for the interest they extended to
the artists they employed. Francis’ marked preference for painting and
sculpture of the Italian manner was not, however, without drawbacks.
By selecting Rosso and Primaticcio to supervise the decoration of the
palace at Fontainebleau, Francis practically endowed a foreign style.
No doubt his judgment was sound. The native sculptors and painters had
neither the experience nor the skill to carry out a scheme so foreign
to anything upon which they had worked before.

In a very short while, however, the example of the Italians and the
heavy premium placed upon any artistic talent led to the rise of native
sculptors of distinction. The first French sculptor of supreme ability
was Jean Goujon. The name first occurs in the building accounts of St.
Maclou at Rouen in 1540. By 1547 Jean Goujon had entered the service
of Francis I. Two years later he was at work upon the Fountain of the
Innocents of Paris. The most instructive example of Goujon’s work is,
however, the famous “Diana” now in the Louvre. The statue originally
surmounted a fountain in the courtyard of Diana of Poitiers’ Castle of
Anet, built by Henry II. for his mistress. The marble rested upon a
sarcophagus raised upon tier after tier of carved decorative work. It
was, therefore, intended to be viewed at an elevation, as can be seen
in the well-known drawing by Goujon himself at the British Museum.

In estimating the genius of Goujon, the fact that he was first and
foremost an architect must never be forgotten. The full beauty of
his statues can only be properly appreciated when considered in
connection with the sites for which they were designed. When we
realize the decorative scheme of which a statue like “Diana” was
intended to be the culminating-point, we can see that the claims of
Goujon to be considered as the founder of modern French sculpture
are not ill-founded. In addition to its fine decorative effect,
the “Diana” possesses that balance which has always been a feature
in the finest French art. For the rest, Goujon owes some prominent
characteristics of his style to Cellini and the painters of the
Fontainebleau school. Note, for instance, the elongated limbs and the
over-slender proportions of his figures which Goujon has accentuated
in his endeavour to endow his statues with all possible grace. The
justification for the inclusion of Goujon among the great masters of
sculpture depends upon the fact that he was the first French sculptor
to introduce the nude figure as an object of æsthetic admiration into
French decorative art. In doing so he freed French sculpture from the
bonds of asceticism, and showed how its eventual greatness was to be
secured.

[Illustration: JEAN GOUJON

DIANA (FROM THE FOUNTAIN AT ANET) Louvre, Paris]

Nor does this exhaust the interest attaching to Goujon’s “Diana.”
It equally emphasizes the second great characteristic of French
sculpture—its connection with the feminine element, which has always
been a dominant factor alike in French art and French social life.

It is said that in the statue of “Diana,” Goujon has portrayed the form
of his patroness, Diana of Poitiers. And, indeed, the cold nude figure
of the goddess of Chastity might well serve as a character-sketch of
the passionless beauty who captivated the Dauphin Henry when he was
half her age, ruled France for half a decade, and—a _poseuse_ to the
last—died leaving large sums to found a home for repentant Magdalens
of Paris. Almost every prominent French artist during the sixteenth,
seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries was closely connected with one or
other of the Court favourites. In the case of Goujon it was Diana of
Poitiers. His career was immensely helped by the friendly aid of the
mistress of Henry II.

The part played by Diana of Poitiers in the career of Goujon can be
paralleled from the history of almost every prominent French artist.
Indeed, women played so great a part in French Court life that it would
be strange if traces of their influence could not be readily found.
French sculpture was in the first place an art of the Court. It was
equally an art of the boudoir. For the market-place and the forum of
the Hellene, the Frenchman substituted the bedroom. Here policies were
discussed and shaped; here culture grew and the arts were moulded.
A complete history of the relationship between French sculpture and
French womanhood would certainly prove that the influence of the French
Court beauties upon sculpture was at least as potent as that of the
“blue stockings” led by Madame de Rambouillet upon literature.

One thing, however, must be remembered. This influence differed
entirely from that which Phryne exercised over the art of Praxiteles,
La Bella Simonetta over Botticelli, or Emma Hamilton over Romney. It
was not emotional, but material. The impulse behind it was not love,
but a desire for power. Indeed, the same thing may be said of the
influence of the Court beauties upon French life in general. When the
Marquise de Montespan set herself to attract the attention of Louis
XIV., she knew that he did not love her. “He knows that he owes it to
himself to possess the most beautiful woman in France.”

This holds true of most of the other women who exercised such power
throughout this period of French history. Montesquieu has summed up the
motives inspiring their efforts in a sentence in the “Persian Letters”:

“Do you think, Ibben, that a woman consents to be the mistress of a
minister for love of him? What an idea! It is in order that she may lay
before him every morning five or six petitions.”

The far-seeing Frenchman enables us to grasp what the blackguardly old
father-in-law of the Marquise de Montespan meant when he heard of his
daughter’s success, and cried, “Here’s fortune knocking at my door at
last.”

Had the influence of the women of France been of a more emotional
character, French sculpture would doubtless have approximated much more
closely to that of Greece during the age of Praxiteles. As it was, it
leaves us cold. It has the feminine grace but not the feminine passion.
It seems to be inspired by a love which would stop at flirtation,
fearing to lose itself in the depths of complete surrender.


THE AGE OF LOUIS QUATORZE

The insistence upon the social circumstances which moulded the earliest
phase of French sculpture is justified when it is remembered that they
were no less important during the two following epochs. Until the
coming of the Revolution, France was ruled by an absolute monarch, and
practically all the artistic life of the country centred around him.
Throughout this time French sculpture was dominated by its connection
with a great court, and by the feminine influences which were so potent
in French Court life. The great revival of sculpture during the reign
of Louis XIV., which now claims consideration, is at once explained
when it is correlated with the fact that political considerations
forced France to accept an even more absolute monarchical rule, and
an even more complete centralization of French culture than had been
necessary in the time of the Valois kings.

At the end of the sixteenth century Henry IV. had settled the
religious difficulties in France, and had proved how heartily the
advent of a monarchy able and willing to vindicate its authority was
welcomed. The administrative zeal of Sully, Henry’s minister, and the
taxation reforms which he carried through, laid the foundations of
the vast wealth which Louis XIV. controlled. Without this the great
efflorescence of art, a few years later, would not have been possible.

But the complete supremacy of the French king in the seventeenth
century was due rather to pressure from surrounding nations than
to internal considerations. The reign of Louis XIV. was the age in
which Europe reconstructed her political system upon the principle
of territorialism under a system of absolute monarchy. The natural
complement of Sully, with his maxim, “Plough and cow—these are
the breasts of France whereat she sucks,” was Richelieu, with his
vigorous foreign policy. Richelieu carried the ideals of Francis I.
and Henry IV. to their furthest limit. In everything Richelieu was
pro-Louis—never pro-France. He was not satisfied until the whole
financial and judicial administration had been brought under royal
control by means of a bureaucracy depending entirely upon royal favour.

The brilliant success of Richelieu’s policy was evident when the peace
of Westphalia left France with an Eastern frontier bordering on the
Rhine. The Frankish kingdom of Charles the Great, for which France had
been struggling for centuries, was secured. In 1661, after the death of
Mazarin, Louis found that he could carry the policy of centralization
one step further. As he himself put it, “In future, gentlemen, I shall
be my own Prime Minister.”

[Illustration: PIERRE PUGET

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Church of St. Philip of Neri, Genoa]

One of Louis’ first acts as a complete autocrat was to commence
building the Palace at Versailles. The place lay ten miles out of
Paris, and the king had visited it in 1651 when a lad of thirteen.
The Château evidently engaged his fancy, for between 1662 and 1669 he
did much to adorn the parks. At the end of this time he started to
build in real earnest. The magnitude of the work can be realized from
the fact that 36,000 men were still at work in the palace and park
when the Court moved in on May 6, 1682. Some twenty million pounds
sterling were spent in twenty years. But expense, after all, was a
small consideration. The palace at Versailles was not a luxury but a
necessity. It was to Louis XIV. what Fontainebleau had been to Francis
I.

The first impulse of the courtly party had been to make the Louvre
the headquarters of Louis. Colbert, Louis’ financial adviser at the
time, was an ardent advocate of the Louvre. So much importance did he
attach to the scheme that in 1665 the great Bernini was summoned from
Italy to advise as to extension of the Louvre. Louis’ judgment was
sounder than that of Colbert’s in this matter. He saw that a Court in
the centre of Paris was out of the question. The nobles composing it
would have been far too easily influenced by intrigues started amongst
the restless _bourgeoisie_ of the French capital. Moreover, apart from
this political objection, there was the practical difficulty caused by
the absence of sufficient space. Room for a great palace was not the
only requirement. If the nobility were to be permanently settled around
the king, a small township was essential. The hotels de Richelieu, de
Condé, de Soissons, de Noailles, du Plessis, de Guise, and de Saint
Simon, which eventually arose at Versailles, had to be provided for.

Yet Colbert, who realized the difficulty of meeting the heavy
expenditure, was very insistent. In a last effort to dissuade Louis
from the enterprise he wrote:

      “Your Majesty knows that, apart from brilliant
    actions in war, nothing marks better the grandeur
    and genius of princes than their buildings, and that
    posterity measures them by the standard of the superb
    edifices which they erect during their lives. Oh, what
    a pity that the greatest King, and the most virtuous,
    should be measured by the standard of Versailles.”

Louis, however, had his way, and Colbert was forced to find the
necessary funds.

Could the subtle relation between art and politics be more aptly
illustrated? The connection between the patronage of Louis and the
growth of French sculpture in the latter half of the seventeenth
century is equally clear.

Perhaps the best known sculptor who depended upon the patronage of
Louis XIV. was Pierre Puget, who came to the Court in 1688, late in his
career.

[Illustration: FRANCIS GIRARDON

APOLLO AND THE NYMPHS The Gardens, Versailles]

The “Milo of Crotona,” in the Louvre, is often cited as Puget’s most
typical work. An equally good illustration is the colossal group
“Perseus and Andromeda.” Both were commissioned by Louis XIV., and the
anecdotes relating to the statues prove the close interest the king
took in their execution. The story runs that after seeing the “Milo,”
Louis proposed that the sculptor should start upon another work, “if he
is not too old to undertake it,” he added. The remark was repeated to
Puget, who replied characteristically: “I am in my sixtieth year, but
I still have ample force and vigour, for great works sustain me.” The
“Perseus and Andromeda” took two years. Finally Puget sent his son to
present it to Louis. “Your father is great and illustrious; there is no
man in Europe to equal him” was Louis’ verdict. Even more attractive
is Puget’s “Immaculate Conception,” which dates from about 1665, and
was designed for the Oratory of Saint Philip of Neri at Genoa, where it
still remains. At fourteen years of age Puget had started by carving
the ornamental decorations of the galleys at Marseilles. A few years
later, however, he visited Italy, where he fell under the spell of the
Italian artists of the Catholic Reaction and, particularly, of Bernini.
“The Immaculate Conception” represents Puget in his Bernini mood.
The French sculptor never altogether escaped from Bernini’s tendency
towards theatrical restlessness, but when his statues are compared
with the passionless and artificial productions of most of the French
sculptors of his day, it is clear that the Marseilles artist represents
a real advance. For the rest, Puget introduced into sculpture the
sensuous representation of flesh—the suggestion of the living
texture—which the Italians term _morbidezza_. In this respect, he has
fathered a long progeny of sculptors, ending with such ultra-modern
artists as Jules Dalou and the Belgian, Jef Lambeaux.

If Pierre Puget was closely connected with Louis XIV., Francis Girardon
(1628-1715), the second great sculptor of the seventeenth century,
was equally identified with Versailles. The decoration of the palace
proceeded under the general direction of Charles Lebrun, the painter.
Girardon acted as chief inspector of sculpture under Lebrun. The post
was no sinecure. In all, ninety-five sculptors were employed, and about
half a million sterling was spent upon sculptural decorations. The
greater part of this was expended upon the fountains in the gardens.

The elaborate nature of these garden decorations can be realized from
Girardon’s great group “Apollo and the Nymphs.” This is still at
Versailles, but it has been moved to the grotto in which it is now to
be seen—the so-called Temple of Thetis.

But the greatness of the seventeenth-century sculptors of France cannot
be properly appreciated from any single work. The keynote of the Louis
Quatorze style is the fact that the work was intended to enhance the
effect of the room or garden in which it was placed. Alone it is as
meaningless as a Greek pedimental group away from the temple it was
designed to decorate. A just judgment of the genius displayed in
Girardon’s “Apollo and the Nymphs” presupposes a mental picture of the
Gardens at Versailles.

They were designed by André le Notre. When Louis commenced to rebuild
the old château the gardens consisted of two groves. The rest was
practically an uncultivated wood. It is told that after André le Notre
had satisfied himself as to the general scheme to be followed he laid
it before Louis. The king wandered with the great garden-architect
through the grounds talking the matter over. As le Notre explained
his ideas Louis became more and more enthusiastic. “I give you
20,000 francs,” he cried. André le Notre moved on to another point
and developed a new aspect of his scheme. “I give you another 20,000
francs,” exclaimed the delighted Louis. After the third or fourth
repetition André began to feel hurt. “Your Majesty,” he said, “if I
tell you more you will be a ruined man. You must leave the rest to me.”

[Illustration: PIGALLE

MERCURY PUTTING ON HIS SANDAL Louvre, Paris]

[Illustration: FALCONET

L’AMOUR MENAÇANT Louvre, Paris]

The results must have more than reached the king’s anticipations. In
those days, the gardens were studded with statuary. There was, for
instance, the early Fountain of the Dragon. Water spouted from the
beast’s mouth to a height of twenty-eight metres. Around sported four
dolphins, while the design was completed by the cupids seated on swans,
which darted their arrows at the dragon in the centre. Similar groups
arose from every basin. Two of these were set up on the terrace. A
double flight of stairs, richly ornamented with statuary, led thence
to the grounds. Here the wanderer came upon such a beauty spot as the
Allée d’Eau, with its border of pines and its hundred and four copper
vases set with yew-trees. Throughout the Walk were groups of statues.
Or, maybe, he visited Girardon’s “Pyramid.” This consisted of four
superimposed basins. The highest was supported on four cray fish, the
second on four dolphins and the others on tritons, the lowest tier
rising from the four larger tritons who swam in the great basin. The
lavish expenditure upon the sculpture at Versailles may be judged
from the payment of 1400 livres in 1671 to the painter-gilder Bailly
“on account of the gilding and bronzing applied to the _fontaine en
pyramide_.”


THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY

If a clear realization of the gardens at Versailles is necessary for
the true appreciation of such a work as Girardon’s “Apollo and the
Nymphs,” the interior of a French palace must be pictured if the
smaller sculptures of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are
to be understood. The sculptors worked with the knowledge that their
works were eventually to be placed in such rooms as the Salon of Venus
at Versailles with its marble walls, its green velvet hangings and
silver chandeliers, or the Throne Room, with its decorations of crimson
and gold, its ceiling by Delafosse and pictures by Titian, Guido
Reni, Rubens and Van Dyck, or even the great Galérie des Glaces, 240
feet in length, with its seventeen great windows framed by Corinthian
pilasters, and faced by the seventeen mirrored arches running along
the opposite side. Many sculptures of the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries, which we rightly consider insipid and unsatisfying, may
well have served their purpose at the time. They cannot, however, be
properly judged apart from the richly decorated salons which they were
designed to complete.

This is true of a portion of the sculpture of Louis Quatorze. It is
even more true of practically all the sculpture of Louis Quinze and
Louis Seize. If the seventeenth century was the period of the great
decorative sculptors, the characteristic of the eighteenth century was
its demand for smaller works. The reign of Louis Quatorze had been
a building age. In the main, it called for architectural sculpture.
Eighteenth-century taste, however, ran in the direction of the
single-figured statue and the statuette. The tendency was exactly that
which, in the art of painting, produced a Watteau and a Fragonard
in place of a Nicholas Poussin and a Charles Lebrun. The growing
popularity of smaller statues was the equivalent of the increased
demand for easel pictures.

Under the circumstances it is not to be wondered that the
eighteenth-century French sculptors lost the fine sense of decorative
effectiveness with which the school of Louis XIV. had been endowed.
As a consequence they were far less successful in carrying out the
larger public works which every nation demands from time to time. On
the contrary, the smaller works produced in the eighteenth century were
often instinct with vivacity and charm. It was only when they essayed
the greater tasks that the sculptors failed to throw off completely
what may be termed the boudoir manner.

[Illustration: CLODION SATYR WITH FLUTE Musée Cluny, Paris]

Our meaning may be illustrated from the history of the tomb of the
Marshal de Saxe in the church of St. Thomas, at Strasbourg. It was
designed in 1756, by Jean Baptiste Pigalle—then the foremost sculptor
in France.

Marshal de Saxe was, of course, the victor at Fontenoy, and Pigalle
depicts Death welcoming the hero while France vainly attempts to stay
Death’s hand. The scattered trophies, as well as the Austrian eagle,
the Belgian lion, and the English leopard, speak of the Marshal’s
success as a soldier. The work is clearly a national memorial, and, had
it been the work of a great national sculptor, would have suggested
national feeling and pride in every line and mass. In point of fact
it is evident that it does nothing of the kind. The sculptor, finding
himself unable to feel the design as a whole, has been content with
“building up” the memorial. Being a competent craftsman he naturally
produced a satisfactory, if uninspired, work.

There is a quaint little story concerning the inception of the Saxe
Memorial which happily illustrates the mood in which Pigalle designed
the work. The Marshal’s reputation for gallantry was by no means
confined to military affairs. He was, perhaps, the only commander who
ever entered into a campaign accompanied by a first-rate opera company.
Pigalle was well aware of this. That no side of the dead commander’s
character might be unrepresented, he added the figure of Love with
torch reversed. “The Marshal cared equally for love and war. Love
must figure among the mourners,” he explained. The Marshal’s friend
objected, and finally Louis XV. was asked to intervene. To satisfy
all parties, the King decreed that Cupid should wear a helmet—“the
insignia of the genius of war,” as he explained. But Pigalle was not
to be moved, “Aujourd’hui,” he said; “je plie, mais je me redresserai
bientot.”

It will be seen that Pigalle proved right. To this day Love is without
his helmet. Moreover, the tiny god is perhaps the most charming
figure in the great monument, a lasting reminder that the genius of
the eighteenth-century sculptor dealt more naturally with the dainty
and the graceful than with the great and the sublime. Pigalle’s own
reputation depends much more upon his charming “Mercury putting on his
Sandal” (The Louvre) than it does upon the far more ambitious memorial
at Strasbourg. This is equivalent to saying that Pigalle was at his
best when he was most interested. The same remark applies to his fellow
sculptors. Seeing that men’s interests had moved in the direction of
the boudoir, a boudoir art naturally followed.

The demand for smaller works increased as the eighteenth century went
on. No sculptor reached the height attained by Watteau and Fragonard in
the sister art of painting, but an immense amount of fine sculpture was
produced.

The typical Louis Quinze and Louis Seize style is well represented
by the work of the Parisian sculptor, Etienne Maurice Falconet
(1716-1791), a pupil of Lemoyne. His “L’amour Menaçant” is a charming
instance of the skill with which the eighteenth-century sculptors
adapted themselves to the wider range of subjects created by the new
demand.

[Illustration: HOUDON DIANA (BRONZE) Louvre, Paris]

Falconet shows the god of Love, with a finger of caution at his lips.
The idea of the hand slyly stealing round to the quiverful of arrows
slung across his shoulder is expressed with delightful art. The dainty
work is remarkable for its grace and the vivacity of expression
animating it. It is significant that the work was commissioned by
Madame de Pompadour in 1756.

Two more sculptors call for notice before we close this chapter—Clodion
and Houdon. Both were followers of Pigalle and both lived to a good
old age and worked well into the nineteenth century. But in essence
their work was dominated by the factors which moulded the rest of the
sculpture of Louis XV. and Louis XVI.

The lesser of the two men, Claude François Michel, called Clodion, was
to sculpture what Boucher was to painting. His favourite subjects were
satyrs and bacchantes, as, for instance, in the “Satyr with Flute,”
with which we illustrate his art. Some of his most delightful works
are at the Musée Cluny. There is also a fine “Satyr and Nymph” in the
Wallace collection at Hertford House, London. With rare exceptions, all
Clodion’s works were designed for the drawing-room or the dancing-hall.
He was a master of the statuette and, perhaps, without a rival in the
skilful use of terra-cotta.

It is easy to cavil at the frankly sensuous style of Clodion but, after
all, his justification is complete. It depends upon the success with
which he carried out that at which he aimed.

On the whole, the great body of eighteenth-century French sculpture
defies criticism by the same triumphant grace and vivacity and the same
plea that what was aimed at has been done. There are times when

    “Eternal smiles its emptiness betray
     As shallow streams run dimpling all the way.”

But, judging it by its own standard and looking for neither deep
feeling nor high thinking, it amply justifies its place among the art
movements which have given humanity a fresh thrill.

Houdon (1741-1828), the last of the eighteenth-century French
sculptors, was a far greater artist than either his master Pigalle or
Clodion. He lived throughout the sculptural period dominated by Canova,
and might, on that account, claim consideration in our next chapter.
Houdon as an artist, however, seems to have been little impressed by
the events of the French Revolution, so we have chosen to represent him
by two of his earlier works.

Like many other French sculptors of genius, Houdon won the Grand Prix
at the outset of his career and directly after visited Italy. While
there he modelled the well-known “St. Bruno,” of which Clement XIII.
said “he would speak were it not that the rules of his order enjoin
silence.” A little later came the celebrated “Diana,” perhaps the most
remarkable work by an eighteenth-century French sculptor in view of
the originality of its design and the skill with which the technical
difficulties incidental to such a pose are overcome. There are various
replicas of the “Diana.” The Hermitage copy is in marble, and dates
from 1780. The Louvre bronze was cast in 1790.

Houdon’s “Voltaire” is equally famous. This, too, exists in more
than one state. There is the seated figure belonging to the Comédie
Française—recently moved to the Louvre—as well as the bust which we
have preferred to reproduce. The latter represents the old cynic during
the last weeks of his life. It is a magnificent instance of Houdon’s
unrivalled power in the expression of mental vivacity. It is said that
the sculptor had complained to a friend, the Marquis de Villevieille,
that the old wit’s face had lost every vestige of life. Villevieille
realizing that Houdon’s sitting might well result in failure, bethought
himself of the crown which Brizard, the actor, had placed on Voltaire’s
head during his triumph at the Français. The next day while Houdon was
working before his model, Villevieille suddenly placed the crown on the
old man’s head. For a moment the ancient fire returned. It was only for
a moment. Bursting into tears, Voltaire cried: “What are you doing,
young man?” Then he added bitterly: “My tomb is already prepared; put
it on that.”

[Illustration: HOUDON VOLTAIRE]

Fortunately the momentary impression was sufficient. Houdon was able to
fix for all time the insight which chance had given him into the secret
of the man who, perhaps, did more to prepare the way for the French
Revolution than any other thinker. Houdon’s “Voltaire” appropriately
closes the history of the sculpture of the French Court. Equally
appropriately it ushers in the history of European sculpture during the
Revolutionary era.



CHAPTER XIII

THE NEO-CLASSICAL REVIVAL: EUROPEAN SCULPTURE OF THE REVOLUTION AND THE
REACTION

(1789-1848 A.D.)


The period we are now to consider, covering the last few years of the
eighteenth century and the early years of the nineteenth, is one of the
most elusive in the history of sculpture. That is to say, it evades
characterization. Moreover, when its individual qualities are stated,
it is still more difficult to correlate these with the very definite
ideas and emotions astir during a time which includes the French
Revolution and the consequent Reaction.

The difficulty in tracing the connection between such men as Canova,
Thorvaldsen, Flaxman, and the age in which they worked, seems to
be due to the necessity for first abandoning the method which has
served us hitherto. In dealing with Greek and Roman, Italian and
French sculpture, we have appealed to national history—national
circumstances. Now we are concerned with a body of thought and feeling
which is not national but European. Instead of thinking in states,
we have to think in continents. The men who created the sculpture
of the Revolution and Reaction were essentially cosmopolitans;
Winckelmann—Saxon; Raphael Mengs—half-Dane, half-Bohemian;
Canova—Venetian; Thorvaldsen—Danish; Flaxman and Gibson—Englishmen,
long resident in Rome. They did not drift towards Rome as the
Hellenistic sculptors had done, because the city was the centre of
the political force of the age. Nor did they come with the purpose
of Michael Angelo, that they might add to the glory of a universal
church seeking to extend its power over the known world. Far from this
being the case, in the early part of the nineteenth century Rome was
a no-man’s land. If it stood for anything, it was for a disintegrated
Italy and an enfeebled Papacy. At the very time Canova was working
there, Italy was powerless to prevent Napoleon stripping it of its
choicest art treasures. Anything approaching a national stimulus to
sculptural production was entirely lacking.

The first result was the rise of the essentially eclectic style which
we recognize in the sculptures of Canova and Thorvaldsen. Nominally,
it was based upon a return to the Greek example. In reality, it was no
more than a borrowed Hellenism, misunderstood and misapplied by men
who did no more than steal “The livery of the Court of Heaven.” We
shall not be misunderstood. No one can deny—it is impossible to do
so—the graceful beauty of very many statues of the later eighteenth
and earlier nineteenth centuries. Indeed, no school of sculpture has
produced a larger number of popular works—in the best sense of that
rather dubious term. But our criticism is justified by the fact that
such men as Canova and Thorvaldsen deliberately set out to interpret
their experience in the terms of classic art. They rightly judged this
to be the highest achievement attained by the sculptor. Unfortunately,
they only filched the Hellenic externals.

Strange to say, this fervid adoption of a bastard Hellenism coincided
with the re-discovery of the principles at the root of Greek art, and,
in consequence, with a renewed appreciation of the best qualities in
Hellenic sculpture. Throughout the Renaissance and until the middle
of the eighteenth century, Europe did not understand Greek sculpture.
Even the best judges rated the “Apollo Belvedere” above the “Theseus”
of the Parthenon pediment. A truer standard was advanced by Johann
Joachim Winckelmann (murdered 1768). His dictum, “Greek art has been
perpetuated by Roman copies,” revealed the error which had vitiated all
earlier criticism. Aided by the poet-philosopher Lessing, Winckelmann
led men to distinguish between the Roman and the Greek elements
in classic sculpture—between the Hellenic and the Hellenistic.
Winckelmann’s “History of Greek Art,” published in 1764, enunciated all
the great principles we now recognize in the best Greek sculpture—its
truth to nature, its almost austere reserve, the preference accorded to
the typical as opposed to the particular. The “History of Greek Art”
in turn led to Lessing’s “Laocoon” and the magnificent exposition of
Hellenism in the works of Goethe. Through these three men the very soul
of Greek sculpture lay bare to the later eighteenth-century artists.

[Illustration: CANOVA

CUPID AND PSYCHE Villa Carlotta, Lake of Como]

[Illustration: PAULINE BORGHESE Borghese Gallery, Rome]


CANOVA AND THORVALDSEN

The first really gifted sculptor to absorb the new revelation and give
expression to it in marble and bronze was Antonio Canova. Born in 1757,
Canova came of a family of sculptors. In his youth he manifested a
facility as a modeller which was sufficient to lead his patron, the
Senator Falieri, to make it possible for him to visit Rome. Coming
there at the age of twenty-two, Canova encountered the full tide of the
ideas enunciated by Winckelmann and his school. Like most successful
sculptors, the Venetian was a man of boundless energy. His patrons and
rivals in Rome soon became impressed with the belief that Canova was
capable of founding a school of sculpture worthy of comparison with
those of classic times. Indeed, to-day, it is quite easy to realize the
intense enthusiasm aroused by the works of Canova. Such a statue as
the beautiful “Cupid and Psyche,” produced in the year 1787, has not
yet lost its power to charm. Canova has chosen the moment when Cupid
comes to aid the unfortunate girl who has opened the box of Proserpine
and has sunk fainting to the earth. It is characteristic of Canova’s
sentimental method that he should choose the moment when Psyche,
throwing back her head, discovers the god-youth bending over her.

An equally fine example of Canova at his best is the famous statue
of “Pauline Borghese,” a work of later date than the “Cupid and
Psyche.” The light-hearted sister of Napoleon is represented as Venus,
despite the fact that she was the wife of Prince Borghese, the ruler
of Piedmont. The story runs that a friend remonstrated with her and
ended with the question whether Pauline had not found the ordeal “a
trying one.” “Trying, not at all,” replied the Princess, “there was a
stove.” The anecdote serves to illustrate the difference between Canova
and his Greek predecessors. Comparing the story of Pauline Borghese
with that of the Hetaera Phryne, the difference between the spirit
animating Hellenic art and that animating the imitation Greek art of
two thousand years later is unmistakable. Praxiteles’ statue of Phryne
was the incarnation of womanhood as he felt it. Pauline Borghese
merely suggested to Canova a number of graceful lines and masses,
which his sense of form enabled him to combine in a pleasing fashion.
He willingly preserved a sufficient likeness to compliment the fair
model, who had risked a physical and spiritual chill in the cause of
art. But the difference between the lasting value of Canova’s “Venus”
and that of Praxiteles’ “Aphrodite of Cnidus” can be estimated exactly.
It is that which separates the idea of womanhood from the idea of the
princely light-o’-love—Pauline Borghese. Canova’s work has not a
suggestion of that contact with the eternal verities which is the very
essence of a great Greek statue.

No one can doubt that both the “Cupid and Psyche” and the “Pauline
Borghese” are the works of a man who feels the full beauty of pure
line. If formal grace were the best that sculpture could give us, there
would be no more to be said. But the achievements of the Greek masters
prove that this is not the case. A work of sculpture can convey a sense
of palpitating life, of vigorous emotion, which is worth far more than
the graceful beauty with which Canova has endowed his conception of
Cupid and Psyche, and the Goddess of Desire.

It cannot be said that Canova lacked any opportunity vouchsafed to the
earlier sculptors. Before he died, his reputation rivalled that of the
great artists of the Renaissance. In 1802 he was appointed curator of
the Vatican art treasures, a post resembling that held by Raphael and
Michael Angelo. Like Bernini, he was called to France. Instead of a
bust of Louis XIV., Canova’s task was to model a colossal statue of
Napoleon. If Canova had had it in him, he might have been a Michael
Angelo. As it was, he lived and died Antonio Canova.

If our estimate of Canova is correct, can more be said for his rival,
the Danish sculptor, Thorvaldsen? Thorvaldsen was born about the year
1770, his father being a journeyman wood-carver of ship’s figure-heads.
As a boy he worked on the quays at Copenhagen, much as Puget had done
a century earlier at Marseilles. In 1793 Thorvaldsen, then a youth of
twenty-three, won the Copenhagen Academy’s gold medal and a travelling
scholarship, which made a visit to Rome possible. Four years later, in
1797, Thorvaldsen came to Rome.

Between May and December of the previous year, Italy had been overrun
by the French. In October 1797 the Venetian territories were divided by
Austria and France. In the following February Pius VI. was deposed by
Napoleon. Italy had never stood lower in the scale of nations. Perhaps
for that very reason Rome was able to welcome artists from all parts of
Europe, and imbue them with entirely non-national ideals, drawn from
the treasures of art stored in the Eternal City.

“I was born on March 8, 1797,” said Thorvaldsen himself. “Up to that
time I did not exist.”

The Dane’s scholarship only amounted to £24 a year, insufficient for
the bare necessities of life. But the young sculptor struggled along
until 1803, when his “Jason” was purchased by the English banker,
Thomas Hope, and he was relieved from his most pressing difficulties.
A little later Thorvaldsen found himself the talk of artistic Rome.
The Baron de Schubart, Danish Ambassador at Naples, had commissioned
a “Cupid and Psyche.” The sculptor was in the midst of the work when
his studio at Montenero was struck by lightning. The only model which
escaped destruction was the Baron’s “Cupid and Psyche.” Thorvaldsen
himself was in Rome at the time, and the pretty little story naturally
ran the round of the studios. The tale caught the fancy of the smart
set, ever on the look-out for an excitement, and “the miracle of the
marble” became the sensation of the hour. A flood of sonnets and
epigrams resulted. Thorvaldsen found himself suddenly recognized as the
coming sculptor—second only to Canova.

There is no finer example of the genius of Thorvaldsen than his
“Venus.” There is certainly no statue upon which he lavished more care.
It exists in several forms, including a fine marble copy in the Duke of
Devonshire’s collection at Chatsworth. Starting in 1805, he took ten
years to complete the design to his satisfaction. Not that Thorvaldsen
was a slow worker. He had no love for the actual carving, and left the
greater portion of the marble-work to his assistants. But in the clay
he worked with extreme facility, and few sculptors have excelled him in
the number and variety of his designs. A statue like the “Venus” proves
that he also possessed qualities of breadth and emotional austerity,
which cannot be claimed for the prettier works of Canova.

But, judging the life-work of the Danish sculptor in its broadest
aspects, the only possible verdict is that which must also be passed
upon Canova. Both men preferred to echo an earlier art. They made
no attempt to realize nature afresh. This acceptance of a purely
artificial creed, based upon their admiration for their Greek
predecessors, entailed an abandonment of the personal standpoint which
alone gives an art the highest value.

[Illustration: THORVALDSEN

VENUS Duke of Devonshire’s Collection, Chatsworth]


THE SCULPTURE OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

Why Canova and Thorvaldsen should have found this necessary in an
age which was full of pregnant thought and feeling, is hard to say.
One can only note a similar tendency in other branches of European
activity in the latter years of the eighteenth century. The painter
David, for instance, was content to work to a pseudo-Greek standard,
instead of constructing a fresh one, fitted to the new state of things
in France. The great picture in the Louvre, “The Intervention of the
Sabine Women,” is almost icy on account of the artist’s pre-occupation
with the externals of classical art. Were it not for the evidence of
David’s portraits one would regard the painter of the “Sabine Women”
as entirely lacking in human emotion. As it is, we know that the
assumption of classical externals is merely the outcome of a bad habit.

A similar tendency to pose in the outworn robes of an earlier
civilization was a common fault among the men and women who sought to
bring the ideals of the French Revolution home to Europe. Witness the
days which the National Assembly devoted to the unending wrangle over
the precise wording of the “Rights of Man.” The time was wasted, not
because the Declaration really forwarded the ideal of equality before
the law and the abolition of all class distinctions, but because the
founders of the American Republic had framed a similar Declaration of
Rights. The civic dinners in Paris in imitation of the Spartan manner
were equally mere poses. Parisians sat, surrounded by their servants,
at tables spread in the very streets, while fashionable hostesses
called upon passers-by to note “how we love equality.” The tendency
which led the Parisians to such follies, led Canova, Thorvaldsen,
and Flaxman to follow a pseudo-classic style instead of allowing the
passions and thoughts astir in their souls to find an adequate method
of expression. This initial error deprived even their most ambitious
works of that almost mystical appeal which gives the statuary of the
greatest Hellenes and Florentines its unique value. Though full of
grace and charm, their marbles impress us at once as devoid of either
deep feeling or high thinking.

The one sculptor, who absorbed the patriotic spirit generated by the
French Revolution, and also found means to express it in marble, was
François Rude (1784-1855). Unlike Thorvaldsen, Canova and Flaxman, Rude
never lived in Rome. He was French to the marrow. Indeed, when he won
the Grand Prix in 1812, he did not take advantage of the opportunity
to visit Italy. The son of a Dijon blacksmith, Rude came to Paris
in 1807 with £16 in his pocket. He had nothing except an invincible
determination to become a sculptor, to ensure success. However, he
secured work and joined the École des Beaux Arts. “Seven lost years,”
was Rude’s opinion of the time he spent in this centre of academical
method. Rude had always been an ardent politician, and the support he
gave to Napoleon during “The Hundred Days” led to his exile. After
twelve years in Brussels, he returned to Paris—aged forty-three. The
exhibition of the “Neapolitan Fisher Boy” in 1833, established Rude’s
reputation. The work is now in the Louvre. The circumstances under
which it was carved recall those under which Michael Angelo produced
his “David.” Rude was furnished with an odd prism-shaped piece of
marble. The delightful ingenuity with which he has used the happy pose
arising from the boy’s crossed legs is worthy to be remembered along
with the achievement of Michael Angelo himself.

[Illustration: RUDE “THE MARSEILLAISE” RELIEF

Arc de Triomphe, Paris]

Charming as the “Neapolitan Fisher Boy” is, Rude’s genius is more
completely illustrated by his great bas-relief in the Arc de Triomphe
at Paris. Thiers was Louis Philippe’s minister at the time, and he
gave Rude the commission for all the “grande sculpture” upon the Arch.
The intrigues of rivals, however, resulted in half of the work being
handed over to Etex, and finally, Rude only contributed a single group.
This was the “Chant du Départ,” generally known as “The Marseillaise.”
The magnificent force and vigour with which Rude has carried out the
purpose of the memorial is beyond praise. His task was to perpetuate
the fame of the Imperial armies which cowed Europe and won such fights
as Marengo, Austerlitz, Jena, and Friedland. Surely the difference
between the emotion expressed in Rude’s “Chant du Départ,” and any
works by the more highly endowed Canova and Thorvaldsen is beyond
question. Surely it is equally certain that the difference can only
be traced to one thing. The Frenchman was expressing what he felt,
whereas, the other two men were only expressing what Wincklemann and
Lessing had proved to be correct. Rude was able to infuse his marble
with the passion it contains because he had _lived_ through a stirring
age. The “Chant du Départ” only nominally dates from the ’thirties of
the last century. Really, it was carved in the year 1793, when Rude
as a boy of nine, marched up and down the squares of Dijon, with his
child-companions in the Royal Bourbon Regiment of the National Guard,
and felt his loyal little heart burning within him as he sang the
Marseillaise before the bust of Marat or Robespierre. It makes us feel
that it is the direct outcome of real feeling—experienced at first
hand.


THE RISE OF ENGLISH SCULPTURE

The sculpture of Rude leads naturally enough to that of Great
Britain—the only other country in Europe with national emotions
capable of being translated into a vital art at that time.

Unfortunately, no lover of sculpture, writing in English can turn
from the art of France to that of his own country without a pang. For
hundreds of years, the sculptor met with no encouragement in Great
Britain. The land which had nourished the genius of a Shakespeare,
a Milton and a Wren, of a Gainsborough and a Reynolds, could only
advance a list of shadowy names against the tangible achievements of
its great rival on the other side of the Channel. In the early days of
the Renaissance, there was some promise that sculpture might obtain a
foothold in England as it was doing in France. Henry VIII. and Wolsey
took a keen interest in the infant art, and persuaded several Italian
artists to take up their abode in England. Such a tomb as that of Henry
VII. in the Abbey, the contract for which was made in 1512, affords
an interesting comparison with the tombs of the French kings of the
sixteenth century. It was the work of the Italian Torrigiano, best
known nowadays as the breaker of Michael Angelo’s nose. Unfortunately,
Torrigiano was the greatest, and not the least, of the band of foreign
artists who came to England in those days. Consequently, our native
sculptors never had the advantage of seeing men like Leonardo da Vinci
and Andrea del Sarto working among them. Torrigiano and Antonio Toto
were poor substitutes for Cellini and Primaticcio.

No one can say what would have happened had a more vigorous artistic
impulse been received from the country of Michael Angelo and Donatello.
But this is certain. Neither sculpture nor painting in England became
the living things they were in France. While Francis I. and the three
Louis were purchasing statues by Goujon and Pajou, the English kings
and nobles preferred to repeat lyrical snatches by such men as Lovelace
and Rochester. Almost the only British sculptures from the end of the
Tudors to the middle of the reign of George III. were the memorial
monuments which still decorate our older churches. For the rest,
there was such a work as the Nightingale monument by the foreigner
Roubilliac, the still-life carvings of Grinling Gibbons, and the fine
tombs by Nicholas Stone in Westminster Abbey.

The profound difference between the English character and the French
accounts, in great measure, for Britain’s slowness to develop a
national school of sculpture. The temperament which really feels that
pure form can adequately express the emotional experience of mankind
is rare at any time. It is far less likely to develop among men who
prefer positive, concrete mental images than among those who seek the
definite, abstract conceptions which the French mind creates. Moreover,
during the century after Shakespeare, Britain was fully occupied in
settling her religious and political difficulties, and upon such tasks
as the absorption of Ireland and Scotland. During the seventeenth
century and the early part of the eighteenth England should be pictured
by the aid of Arnold’s magnificent image:

    “The weary Titan, with deaf
     Ears, and labour-dimm’d eyes,
     Regarding neither to right
     Nor left ...
     Staggering on to her goal.”

The Scottish Revolution of 1745 marked the conclusion of the period of
political and social stress. By the middle of the eighteenth century
Great Britain had “found itself.” The foundations of a system of
party government had been laid. The rule of Walpole, “the first Prime
Minister of England,” had indicated the direction in which the future
of English politics lay. For the first time the country was able to
devote a portion of its spare energy to an art which was admittedly not
quite attuned to the national temperament.

The establishment of the British Museum was an early indication of
the new mood. The Royal Academy, founded in 1768, with Reynolds as
its first president, indicated the public recognition that a national
school of sculpture was possible. Finally, society—with a capital
S—condescended to interest itself in classical art. The influence of
this upon English sculpture can be happily illustrated from the history
of the “Society of Dilettanti.”

At the time of the foundation of the Society of Dilettanti, between
1733 and 1735, young British noblemen were wont to make the “Grand
Tour” through France and Italy, much as the Roman aristocrats had
visited Greece and Asia Minor, during the later days of the Republic
and the Empire. Usually the Englishman was accompanied by a tutor, who
enabled his young charge to acquire the rudiments of a classical art
education. The youth came back to London equipped as an arbiter in all
matters of taste. The Society of Dilettanti only admitted such men as
these, and its avowed object was to cultivate a taste for works of art
which had attracted them during their tours. At first the Society of
Dilettanti was little more than a dining club. Horace Walpole, writing
in 1743, sneered: “The nominal qualification is having been in Italy;
the real one being drunk.”

As the Society became more staid, with the advancing years of its
founders, more ideal methods were adopted. Several of the promoters
took leading positions in English life. Sir Francis Dashwood, for
instance, became Bute’s Chancellor of the Exchequer. The fourth Earl
of Sandwich not only enriched the language with a new term and a novel
article of diet, but posed as a leader in all branches of English
activity from gambling and theatricals to art criticism. In course of
time such men as these had the spending of very considerable funds
accumulated by the society. The sources whence the Society derived its
income make amusing reading. There was, for instance, the “face money,”
levied under a rule which ordained that every member’s portrait should
be painted by Kneller for the benefit of the Society. Still larger sums
accrued from the “Rule Ann. Soc. Undec.” This set forth that any member
who was fortunate enough to secure an advance in his salary should
contribute one per cent. of the first year’s rise to the Dilettanti
coffers. In the Annals, under date January 6, 1744-5, one finds the
following: “Received of the Duke of Bedford eleven guineas for having
received the place of the first Commissioner of the Admiralty.”

On the whole, the funds of the Society of Dilettanti were expended
with good judgment. Students’ scholarships were endowed in connection
with the Royal Academy schools. Finely illustrated works dealing
with various antiquarian subjects were published from time to time.
Excavations were encouraged. Above all, a body of public opinion was
created which took a real interest in classic sculpture.

Proofs of a sincere appreciation of classical art among the leaders
of English society in the second half of the eighteenth century could
be readily multiplied. We might instance the case of Charles Lennox,
third Duke of Richmond, who celebrated his Italian tour by setting up a
collection of painting, sculptures and casts in a gallery of his house
in Whitehall and establishing schools of art there under Cipriani, the
painter, and Wilton, the sculptor. But the supreme evidence of the
value of the system is furnished by the case of Thomas, Earl of Elgin.
That nobleman was engaged about 1802 upon a mission to the Ottoman
Porte. He was fortunate enough to obtain a _firman_ to examine and
remove certain “inscriptions” from the Acropolis of Athens, at that
time a Turkish fortress. His agents, under this _firman_, collected
the Elgin marbles, which were conveyed to England in 1812 and finally
purchased by the British Government in 1816. Even at this date, in
spite of the writings of Lessing and Winckelmann, public opinion was
in grave doubt as to the desirability of paying the beggarly £35,000
which the Earl of Elgin asked for his treasures. He had spent upwards
of £70,000, so the offer was an exceptionally generous one. Even a man
like Flaxman was doubtful as to the real value of the marbles. Like
many art-lovers of his age, he preferred Raphael to Rembrandt—the
“Venus of Medici” to the “Three Fates.”

[Illustration: FLAXMAN MICHAEL AND SATAN (SKETCH)

Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington]

Flaxman was the first English sculptor of European reputation. He was
born in 1755 and died in 1826, so his career practically coincided with
that of Canova. The son of a manufacturer of plaster of Paris casts,
the boy Flaxman was terribly handicapped by a threatened deformity.
But when he laid aside his crutches at ten years of age, his natural
bent towards art began to display itself definitely. In 1770 he won
the silver medal for sculpture at the Royal Academy. Patrons, however,
proved few and far between and the necessity for making a living drove
Flaxman to accept the commissions for the classical designs made famous
through their association with Wedgwood pottery. His real career as a
sculptor began in 1787. Like Thorvaldsen he could have said: “I was
born when I first saw Rome. Before I merely existed.” When Flaxman
returned to England eight years later, his future was assured. He
became an A.R.A. in 1797 and an R.A. in 1800.

Perhaps no modern artist has produced work more nearly approaching
the sculpture of Greece in spirit. In Flaxman’s best known work, the
“Michael and Satan,” we can trace a severe restraint which is foreign
to the more florid styles of Canova and Thorvaldsen and which brings
the Englishman far closer to the masters of the Hellenic school whom he
sought to follow. He equalled either Canova or Thorvaldsen in fertility
and purity of design, particularly in bas-relief. But Flaxman also
suffered as they had done from a too close adherence to the eclectic
influences derived from Winckelmann. When Flaxman sought to portray
the intense passions, his borrowed style betrayed him. If intensity of
emotion was of little moment in sculpture, Flaxman would rank among
the immortals. As a fact, we know that it constitutes its very life.
Consequently, one can only regret that it was not given to the first
great English sculptor to emulate the achievements of Gainsborough
and Reynolds, and evolve a style capable of expressing the manifold
energies of his age in marble, as truly as they did on canvas. As it
was, the genius of Flaxman only served to perpetuate a false ideal.
His English followers made no effort to rid themselves of the methods
which had marred even the finest work of the earlier masters of their
school. Truth to tell, Flaxman’s reputation depends much more upon his
non-sculptural work than it does upon his marbles—upon his Homeric
illustrations, upon his drawings, with their mysterious reminiscences
of Blake, for instance. Flaxman’s facility in design was so tremendous
that it alone made him stand out far above his fellow sculptors.
Added to this, there is a certain natural austerity in his sculptures
which distinguishes them from the conventional theatricalities of the
earlier eighteenth-century artists and the Georgian and early Victorian
sentimentalities which followed. But it would be untrue to suggest that
as a sculptor he rose superior to his age. Weighed in the scale of
European art, ancient and modern, the life-work of Flaxman contains the
same lesson as that of Canova and Thorvaldsen. It stands as a perpetual
memorial of the eternal law, that no living art can be built upon a
borrowed style—even though that style be Greek.



CHAPTER XIV

THE MODERN FRENCH SCHOOL

(AFTER 1848)


We are now approaching the end of our task. It only remains to gather
together the various strands of our argument, with a view to the
solution of the final problem—the position of sculpture in our own
times. Though we shall first deal with the art of France and then
turn to that of England, the sequence of events will be found to be
practically the same in both countries. A single super-title—“The
Renascence of Individualism”—might properly characterize both chapters.

Speaking roughly, the pseudo-Hellenic style of Canova and his followers
persisted until the middle of the nineteenth century. So long as it
lasted, the sculptor chose to fit his thoughts and emotions into an
entirely alien form. It was a form of his own choosing, it is true, but
it could scarcely be said to be of his own making.

Now, we have seen again and again, that the production of vital
sculpture, whether by the nation or the individual, depends upon
absolute sincerity. It _must_ spring from the deep-felt emotions
of the artist. The class of work—portraiture or what not—matters
little. The subject matters even less. What is all-important is that
the design in which the sculptor seeks to embody his ideas shall grow
spontaneously from his experience in the world of Nature. Apart from
that—_n’importe_!

    “There are nine-and-sixty ways of constructing tribal lays,
     And-every-single-one-of-them-is-right.”

But the adoption of an alien form was not the only obstacle to a
revival of sculpture. During the greater part of the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries, the prevailing philosophy had condemned the
intellectuals of Western Europe to the suppression of all natural
passion and emotion. A cataclysm like the French Revolution was
necessary to regain for mankind the right to feel. Once this right had
been asserted, the results were immediate. At first, individualism
took a political form. Napoleon arose—the incarnation of the
Frenchman’s desire to impress his newly discovered social ideas upon
the civilized world. When the Emperor fell in 1815, the passion for
individual expression took artistic shape. What Napoleon did in the
world of politics, Shelley and Victor Hugo, Delacroix and Turner did
in the world of art. Romance in action became Romance in imagination.
Criticism, which had been academic, became individual; thought became
profoundly subjective. The philosopher was no longer content with a few
abstractions and an elaborate terminology; he sought to know the import
of the broad earth and the still broader heaven. These were times

    “In which the meagre, stale, forbidding ways
     Of custom, law, and statute, took at once
     The attraction of a country in romance.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
    But to be young was very Heaven.”

[Illustration: ANTOINE BARYE

LAPITH AND CENTAUR Louvre, Paris]

Numberless emotions and ideas, glowing with a strange and unearthly
light presented themselves for artistic expression—emotions and ideas
which art had entirely lost sight of during the previous century and a
half.

It is, therefore, evident that the effects of the Romantic Movement
upon sculpture call for immediate definition by all who seek to
formulate the circumstance which led to the modern revival.

We propose to start with France. In spite of the strong lead which
Rude gave his fellows, the whole body of French sculptors were slow to
realize the importance of the new vistas of experience opening before
them. A few, David d’Angers for instance, expressed a measure of the
revolutionary spirit in their art. But, in the main, the elegant grace
of a philo-Hellene like Pradier was appreciated above the vigorous
naturalism of Rude and David. It was not until the genius of Barye and
Carpeaux forced itself upon the public notice that a definite step
forward was made.

Of the two, Antoine Barye (1795-1875) was the first in point of time,
though the second in point of influence. In many ways, however, Barye
marks, more clearly than Carpeaux himself, the gulf separating the
typically modern school from that which contented itself with ringing
the changes upon an endless series of mythological abstractions.

Barye was first and foremost a sculptor of wild animals. The famous
exhibit in the Salon of 1831, which first brought him into notice,
could only have been modelled by one who knew the anatomy of the beasts
of the forest as completely as the Greeks knew the human form. The
group represented a death struggle between a crocodile and a tiger.
Barye showed the crocodile clutching, in mortal agony, at the neck
of the tiger. The tiger, with gleaming eyes, bites fiercely into its
enemy’s body.

When we compare such a subject with the Venuses and Apollos with
which his fellows concerned themselves, Barye’s connection with the
Romanticists is at once evident. The pith and marrow of Romanticism
is a distrust of the commonplace and a longing to bring new worlds of
experience within the ken of the artist. Take a few of the leaders of
the Romantic Movement at random. In literature, Scott, Byron, Heine,
and Victor Hugo. In painting, Gericault, Turner, and Delacroix. One and
all sought to arouse the world from a state of contentment which Ruskin
adroitly illustrated by the image of the happiness of the squirrel
in his circular prison. The end of their endeavour was to extend the
sphere of art beyond the graceful, the fanciful, and the commonplace.

But the mere discovery of a fresh field for the sculptor is only a part
of the debt which we moderns owe to Barye. His supreme gift lay in his
power to treat the new subjects without ever transgressing the limits
set by his medium. “A genius in his conception of art and by his power
of expressing it,” is the verdict of his pupil, Rodin. The truth of
this can be seen at once in any of Barye’s famous works—the “Lion” in
the courtyard of the Louvre, for instance, or the brilliant “Centaur
and Lapith,” in the same collection. Nothing to be compared with them
as studies in animal life, had been given to the world since the days
of the Assyrian sculptors, who worked with the knowledge that only a
race of hunters can possess.

Barye’s supreme skill in his own sphere militated against his
influence ever becoming as general as it deserved. As a rule he
confined himself to small works. In the nature of things, he could not
expect the numerous commissions which an equally gifted craftsman with
a larger range of subject would have secured. Hence, though Barye must
be recognized as one of the pioneers of Romanticism in his art, only a
pedant can regard him as the father of modern French sculpture. This
position belongs to Carpeaux.

Born in 1827, Jean Baptiste Carpeaux started his career under the
most favourable circumstances. He was a pupil of Rude. Not only did
he inherit the technical skill of his master, but he carried away
something of the fine human sympathy which characterized the great
sculptor of the Revolutionary period. Carpeaux was wont to say that
he “never passed Rude’s ‘Chant du Départ’ without raising his hat.”
Winning the Prix de Rome in 1854, Carpeaux proved that a new force had
arisen in French sculpture when he exhibited his “Neapolitan Fisher
Lad” in 1858, a work which strongly recalls Rude’s very similar study.
Carpeaux’s full power was revealed three years later, when he finished
his famous group of “Ugolino and his Sons,” now in the Louvre at Paris.

Perhaps no work contains more of the spirit of Carpeaux than the
delightful high relief, “Flora.” It comes from the Pavilion of
Flora, in the Palace of the Tuileries. The very conventionality of
the subject emphasizes the originality of Carpeaux’s treatment. The
Goddess of the Spring is surrounded by a band of dimpled putti, dancing
attendance upon her. Whether we like it or whether we do not, we
recognize that the relief strikes an individual note. It owes nothing
to philo-Hellenism. Carpeaux has treated the subject in a particular
manner for one reason only—that is how he saw and felt it.

An equally good example of Carpeaux at his best is furnished by the
famous group, “The Dance,” on the façade of the Opera House in Paris.
When it was unveiled in 1869, “The Dance” was greeted with a storm of
angry protest. Small wonder. What we have come to regard as the great
charm of the group—the insistence upon the joy of motion—must have
seemed sheer impertinence to an age which regarded a graceful calm as
the one end of sculpture. No doubt, Carpeaux’s critics really believed
that, in “The Dance,” Genius, in truth, danced a bacchanal; in their
view, he crowned

    “The brimming goblet, seized the thyrsus, bound
     His brows with ivy, rushed into the field
     Of wild imagination and there reeled,
     The victim of his own lascivious fires,
     And, dizzy with delight, profaned the sacred wires.”

The saner judgment of to-day sees that Carpeaux resolved for his
generation one of the ultimate difficulties of his art. He showed how
marble might be robbed of its specific gravity. In “The Dance” it
leaps. The sculptor has deprived stone of its essential deadness. His
figures live.

[Illustration: J. B. CARPEAUX

THE DANCE From the Opera House, Paris]


THE ACADEMIC SCULPTORS

The technical tradition established by Carpeaux has never been lost.
To this day, France boasts of a band of sculptors who can make marble
“dance” and “live,” as surely as Carpeaux himself. In this respect, the
French school is far better endowed than the English. The technical
superiority is, in great measure, traceable to the École des Beaux
Arts. Before we embark upon the inevitable criticism, let us render our
meed of praise.

The École des Beaux Arts was founded as far back as 1648. It is open to
Frenchmen of all classes, entrance being by an examination consisting
of modelling in clay from “the life.” The test occupies two hours daily
for a week—twelve hours in all. The aim of every sculptor at the École
des Beaux Arts is the Prix de Rome, which has been held by most of the
famous French Masters and brings with it the very tangible advantage
of a four years’ residence in Italy at the Government’s expense. The
school employs a large staff of highly gifted professors and provides
technical instruction which is worthy of all praise. Few men of talent
leave its walls without, at any rate, knowing how to model and what
sculptural design actually means.

Unfortunately the École des Beaux Arts does not escape the fault of all
academies. Its system reduces the chance of failure to a minimum, but
it does nothing to increase the proportion of supreme successes. The
insistence upon tradition which is inseparable from academic teaching,
seems to prevent those who accept its methods from ever expressing
their full individuality. To find what is most vital in French
sculpture one has therefore to look beyond the ranks of those who have
been trained in the École des Beaux Arts. Nevertheless, no record of
modern French art would be complete without some reference to the
sculptures to be seen in every salon, which clearly owe their finest
qualities to the teaching of that school.

The task of selecting two or three typical examples is an invidious
one. The general level of sculptural achievement in France is so
high, and the sculptors who claim inclusion in the first rank are so
numerous, that it is almost impossible to single out one man without
remembering that another has at least an equal claim to notice. Bearing
this proviso in mind, few will be found to object to the inclusion
of Antoine Idrac. No finer choice can be made than his beautiful
“Mercury inventing the Caduceus” in the Luxembourg collection at Paris.
Graceful, suave, restrained, it shows French academic art at its very
best.

Another instructive instance can be found among the works of Paul
Dubois (born 1829), a sculptor with rather less of the Greek and a
little more of the fervid Italian in his temperament. His most famous
work is the monument to General de la Moricière in the Cathedral at
Nantes, but Dubois’ art is equally well represented by the charming
“St. John”—in the Luxembourg. The early date of this work—it was
modelled during the sculptor’s stay in Florence in 1860—perhaps saves
it from an accusation which may be levelled against the greater portion
of the sculpture of the academic school. Too often, its only fault is
its faultlessness. For a time the senses are satisfied, but after a
second and third visit we come

    “To loathe the taste of sweetness, whereof a little
     More than a little is by much too much.”

In connection with this phase of modern French art, reference must
be made to the work of Falguière. Apart from its intrinsic merit,
Falguière’s influence among the younger French sculptors is enormous.
The wonderful facility in modelling which is so common in France is in
large measure due to his teaching and example.

[Illustration: DUBOIS SAINT JOHN

Luxembourg, Paris]

[Illustration: IDRAC MERCURY INVENTING THE CADUCEUS

Luxembourg, Paris]

From these illustrations it will be plain that the whole of the French
academical school inclines to sacrifice too much to the graces. Aided
by an almost perfect technique, its masters have little difficulty
in securing their one aim—abstract beauty. But they fail to avoid
showing in their marbles and bronzes a marked lifelessness obviously
due to the adoption of a foreign convention. In these days, the French
sculptor does not follow Canova. He forms his style upon semi-Italian,
semi-Greek lines, laid down by an entity—the École des Beaux Arts.

For this reason, it is no coincidence that the two foremost sculptors
in France not only failed to gain anything from the École des Beaux
Arts, but can actually trace their supreme position to this very fact.
Jules Dalou succeeded in securing admission to the École’s classes,
but agreed that “in the end they did him no good.” Rodin actually sat
for the entrance examination three times. On each occasion he failed
to persuade the authorities that his talent was worth fostering. Had
the École des Beaux Arts succeeded in dragging these two men into their
all-enfolding net, the world would certainly be the poorer by the very
qualities which give the sculpture of Dalou and Rodin its unique value.

Of the two, Jules Dalou approaches most closely to the academic ideal.
He is the link between the École des Beaux Arts and Rodin. The coupling
of the two names must not be taken to suggest any close similarity
between the two men. In his general view of the world, Dalou is far
more akin to his master, Carpeaux, than he is to Rodin. The historical
connection between Dalou and his more famous contemporary arises from
the evidence of a revolt against the high conventionalism of the
academic school to be found in his work. Moreover, like Rodin’s,
Dalou’s figures never suggest the model; on the contrary, they are
utterly unlike those of the “realists,” who also oppose the teachings
of the École des Beaux Arts. This can be seen in such a work as Dalou’s
great group—“The Triumph of Silenus,” in the Jardin du Luxembourg.
The statue has the exuberant strength, the irresistible gusto for the
living flesh, of a Rubens painting.

Dalou’s sculpture has a peculiar interest for Englishmen. He is perhaps
better known in England than any other French sculptor. He had to fly
from Paris after the Commune, owing to having accepted the Curatorship
of the Louvre during the troublous times. In the course of his eight
years exile in England, he became professor of sculpture at South
Kensington. Dalou was, throughout his career, a man of strenuous
purpose, able and willing to drive home the ideals which he had made
his own. It would be difficult to exaggerate the influence of his
instruction and example upon the younger school of English sculptors.

[Illustration: JULES DALOU

TRIUMPH OF SILENUS Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris]


AUGUSTE RODIN

Rodin—Dalou’s comrade in the fight against the influence of the École
des Beaux Arts—is a man of equally vigorous personality. Even more
than Dalou, he has come to his own in spite of circumstances. Born in
1840, Rodin is now sixty-seven years of age. At fourteen, he started
to earn a living as a maker of ornaments, managing, however, to find
time for classes at a Parisian art school and lessons from the veteran
Barye. Little trace can now be found of the influence of the great
animal sculptor upon his more famous pupil, but Rodin has put on record
his indebtedness to Barye.

“It was he,” he said, “who, by fixing my attention upon Nature, carried
my artistic education to a point from which I could pursue it alone.”

Truth to tell, Rodin owes his success to no one except himself. He is
essentially the sculptor of modern individualism in its most intense
form.

A few years later Rodin engaged himself as a workman in the studio of
the fashionable sculptor, Carrier-Belleuse, prior to emigrating to
Brussels, as assistant to the Belgium sculptor, Van Rasbourg. Thirteen
years were spent in these employments. It was not until Rodin returned
to Paris, aged thirty-one, that his career as an independent sculptor
commenced. In 1877, he sent the famous male nude, “The Age of Brass,”
to the Salon. The story of its reception is well known. The jury,
astonished at its realism, admitted the works. But so perfect did they
consider its modelling, that they refused to believe that the sculptor
had not taken a cast from the life. Fortunately, a friend was at
hand—M. Turquet, of the Ministry of Fine Arts—who secured the statue
for the Luxembourg collection. The struggle continued until 1880, when
officialdom finally decided to approve the purchase of the “Age of
Brass” and withdrew an entirely unjustifiable charge. In the same year,
the State purchased the “St. John Baptist,” a fine bronze replica of
which can be seen at South Kensington Museum.

At the age of forty, when many men have abandoned all hope, Rodin found
the path to fame open. The long struggle over the “Age of Brass” had
brought notoriety, no small matter in an age of advertisement. Events
soon proved that it had done much more. A dogmatic revolutionary like
Rodin only required to realize how utterly his ideals clashed with
those of his rivals to cling to them with fourfold energy. The treble
rejection by the École des Beaux Arts and the cruel struggle with
the Salon Jury turned a sculptor who would only have been a mediocre
academician into a reactionary of genius.

Rodin’s reputation as a fighter has led many to believe that his work
is essentially uncouth. His technical powers matured slowly, but to-day
no French sculptor is more richly endowed. When he pleases, Rodin can
render, say, the velvety softness of a woman’s flesh with an ease and
delicate grace that any sculptor might envy. A beautiful example of
this side of Rodin’s genius is furnished by the “Fallen Danaid” (1888).

The girl has fallen, in a paroxysm of grief, on a rocky stretch—the
very roughness of the setting offering a beautiful contrast to the
soft modelling of the limbs. The face is half buried. The dishevelled
hair trails amid the broken fragments of the water jar. As we said of
Carpeaux’s “Flora,” the “Danaid” is a subject which might occupy the
chisel of the most academic sculptor. But there is not a suggestion of
an earlier imagination in Rodin’s rendering. He has simply felt the
thing afresh and expressed himself in the manner which seemed most
suitable.

The “Danaid” represents one side of Rodin’s genius, but perhaps the
life-work of the sculptor can be most readily appreciated from some
account of the mysterious “Gate of Hell,” which looms so largely in all
biographical notices of the sculptor.

The commission for the “Gate of Hell” (the Porte de l’Enfer) dates
from 1880, and was a direct consequence of the settlement of the
controversy which arose out of the “Age of Brass.” The original idea
was to provide an entrance to the projected Musée des Arts Décoratifs,
which, if it did not vie with, would at least recall Lorenzo Ghiberti’s
“Gate of Paradise,” in the Baptistery at Florence. The original site
for the Musée in the Cour des Comptes has, however, since been utilized
for a railway station, and the French Government has, accordingly,
never required the completion of its contract. For twenty-seven
years the “Gate of Hell” has stood in Rodin’s studio in the Rue de
l’Université—subject to constant modification and elaboration.

No one who has ever been absorbed in a particular art will find it
difficult to realize the consequences of this chance. The “Gate of
Hell” has become the store-house from which Rodin draws his sculptural
inspiration. All his thoughts and emotions which call for sculptural
expression seem to spend themselves upon it. Rodin’s philosophy is a
mixture of Dante and Baudelaire. Consequently, the “Gate of Hell” has
practically become a twentieth-century paraphrase of the teachings of
the two men, expressed in terms of sculpture. Some of Rodin’s ideas,
naturally, fail to find a convenient niche in the gate. Others prove
capable of translation into individual works on a larger scale.

For instance, the first idea for the well-known group in the
Luxembourg, “The Kiss” (Le Baiser), was designed for the Porte de
l’Enfer, and showed Paolo and Francesca falling hellward, in the very
throes of their guilty passion. In the larger marble, the idea has been
purged of its Dantesque character, and Rodin gives us a picture of the
eternal beauty of true passion. Primarily, “The Kiss” is a study in
vigorous manhood, though Rodin is no less successful in his treatment
of the softer form of the woman. Neither is reminiscent of the model.
But while Rodin has idealized the figures, he has never reached the
false idealism which spells convention.

But the real worth of “The Kiss” does not lie in its technical
achievement, but in the pure, human emotion with which the work is
suffused. Note—it is only a minor point—the hand on the woman’s
thigh, quivering with passion. Compare it with the unresponsive fingers
of the other hand which rest upon the stony rock.

When finished, the “Gate of Hell” is to be of bronze, and it will be
executed in high relief after Ghiberti’s model. At present it consists
of a two-leaved door, with a frieze, a tympanum, and two lateral
columns. In the panels and upon the wide uprights are a multitude of
figures—perhaps 100—also in high relief. The whole gate will be at
least twenty feet high. Crowning the whole design will be the famous
figure of the “Thinker.”

As in the case of “The Kiss,” Rodin has translated the “Thinker” into
a larger size, and the replica now stands in front of the steps of the
Pantheon. The nude figure rests his right arm on his left knee, the
hand supporting the chin of the dreamer. In the “Thinker” we may see
the father of men, uncultured and uncouth, brooding over the mad doings
of his children. These roll below in the panels and framework of the
gate, the victims of all the passions to which mankind is heir.

[Illustration: AUGUSTE RODIN

“THE KISS” (LE BAISER) Luxembourg, Paris]

There is no affectation in reading a profound philosophy into the
sculptures of such an artist as Rodin. The nature of the greatest art
is such that profundity of thought cannot be divorced from a supreme
work. He is not a conscious preacher and moralist. But he is impelled
to bear witness to the eternal verities which manifest themselves in
nature in the form of beauty. A Turner feels their message in the
light and colour of the sky and sea, a Correggio in the glint of the
hair or the soft skin of a woman. A sculptor like Rodin gazes upon a
well-shaped throat, follows the lines of a well-poised trunk or the
bend of a strong man’s loins, and cries, with John Addington Symonds:

    “I know not anything more fair than thou.—
     God give me strength to feel thee, power to speak
     Through this dumb clay and marble all the thoughts
     That rise within my spirit while I gaze!—
     What saith the Scripture? ‘In His image God
     Shaped man, and breathed into his nostrils breath
     Of life.’—Here then, as nowhere else, shines God;
     The Thought made flesh, the world’s soul breathing soft
     And strong, not merely through those lips and eyes,
     But in each flawless limb, each mighty curve,
     Each sinew moulded on the moving form.”

With such a belief Rodin, naturally, rarely drapes his figures. He
holds that not only the head and the hand, but every part of the body,
expresses human emotion. Again he says: “I never give my model a pose.
It is my habit to let them wander about the studio as they will. They
rest or move as their mood may dictate. I thus become familiar with
every natural, unforced movement of the human body.” In his “St. John
the Baptist,” Rodin worked from a model who had never posed before.
Before he commenced, he asked the man to raise his arm and begin
walking. A moment later he cried: “There now, stop.” The result was a
statue organically true, and showing a fine spontaneity which is in
the strongest contrast to the highly conventionalized figures of the
academics.

Finally, Rodin’s technique and, particularly, the quality in his
modelling which has earned him the title of the “First of the
Impressionist Sculptors.”

The absence of sharp definition which characterizes Rodin’s later work
is evidently based upon principles closely allied to those of the
impressionist painter. By relying upon masses of colour, light and
shade, the latter secures breadth and an impression of unity which a
too rigid adherence to line often destroys. By exaggerating the contour
in one place, and by lessening the outline here and sharpening it
there, Rodin seeks to get closer to the natural effect produced by the
action of light and shadow upon the natural object than a sculptor who
relies upon pure form alone.

The case of the sculptor, however, differs considerably from that of
the painter. It is, of course, obvious that form is, in a sense, a mere
convention, whether in painting or sculpture. No one can argue that the
eye has any immediate knowledge of form, any more than it can be said
that lines really exist in nature. But form is a convention which every
sculptor, from Phidias to Donatello, and from Michael Angelo to Houdon,
has accepted. True, no sculptor is concerned with form and form only.
Michael Angelo did not forget that his formal arrangements—to describe
the figures of “Dawn” and “Night” in the baldest possible terms—would
be seen by the aid of the sun and through the Florentine atmosphere.
But it is a long cry from this intelligent use of light and shade to
the ultra-modern justification for the distorted grotesques of such a
sculptor as Rosso. Here are Rosso’s words:

      “Art must be nothing else than the expression of some
    sudden sensation given us by light. There is no such
    thing as painting or sculpture. There is only light.”

[Illustration: AUGUSTE RODIN

THE THINKER The Pantheon, Paris]

It cannot be denied that if Rosso’s works are viewed from a given
distance, the proportions are rectified by the play of light and shade,
and that the result is a surprising illusion of life. But, regarded as
statues, the things are little more than fascinating tricks.

In such an absolute sense as this, the term “impressionist” cannot
properly be applied to Rodin. It may, however, be used in another
and broader sense as indicating an artist who seeks to express the
synthesis of things as he sees them under the influence of a mood.

Rodin knows that he is neither a contemporary of Phidias nor Donatello.
He rightly refuses to confine himself to forms which the Athenians
and the Florentines happened to find most suitable for the expression
of their experience. This is the simple justification for much that
is regarded as iconoclastic in his artistic creed. When he cries:
“Sculpture is the art of the hole and the lump, not of the clean,
well-smoothed, unmodelled figures,” Rodin merely asserts a closer
kinship with the Gothic than the Greek ideal. Whether Phidias,
Scopas, and Praxiteles are right and Rodin wrong, matters little. The
all-important question is whether Rodin’s reliance upon the ridges
which express spiritual tension, and his willingness to utilize
tortuous poses which a Greek would have rejected, have enabled him to
sound a new note of passion in sculpture. We hold that they have.

It is too early to judge of the value of this new note. A hundred years
hence the world will be able to give a decision. A contemporary can
only see a man who expresses what he feels, strongly and fearlessly.



CHAPTER XV

THE MODERN BRITISH SCHOOL

THE NINETEENTH CENTURY


This is an English book. It is written for men and women who look upon
the world from the distinctive standpoint arising from the use of a
common language. At the head of a chapter devoted to sculpture in
modern England, let it be said, definitely and defiantly, that _there
is an English school_.

The proposition is by no means as sure of general acceptance as it
should be. There are many critics who appear to doubt the existence
of English sculpture. They seem to regard Paris as the only source of
modern work and the English school as a mere branch of the French. The
real truth is that, apart from technique, the English sculptor has
little to learn from his Continental neighbour. We are not writing of
clay-thumbers or marble-chippers, who work for the promise of a measure
of material prosperity. We have in mind earnest craftsmen who turn to
sculpture naturally—joying in an art which enables them to give form
to the thoughts and feelings astir around them. Great Britain has no
cause to fear a comparison between the number of such men working in
England and France. Owing to the lack of a gallery like the Luxembourg
and the absence of the magnificent facilities offered by the Salons,
the quality and the quantity of the work produced by the English school
is hard to gauge. Nevertheless, it exists. When the English National
Gallery is rebuilt according to Barry’s design and the two glazed
loggie, flanking the main entrance and each running for 300 feet by
15 along the face of the building, are filled with British sculpture,
doubt will be impossible.

Nor is this all. English sculpture is, in a very true sense, a national
art. Not as we should apply the term to the art of seventeenth-century
Holland or Ancient Athens, but in the sense that modern French
sculpture is national. In both England and France, a body of sculptors
has arisen, able and anxious to express to the full individualities
which have been moulded by the influences among which it works.

As we have seen, this became possible in France about the middle of the
last century. In England the growth of a similar movement may be traced
back some thirty years. A convenient date is 1877, when Sir Frederic
Leighton exhibited his epoch-making bronze “Athlete struggling with a
Python.”

After the death of Flaxman, the English sculptors drifted into the
same blind alley in which most of the Frenchmen found themselves. For
fifty years they made little or no effort to rid themselves of the
false canons of Canova and the philo-Hellenes. Westmacott, MacDowell,
and Wyatt, to mention three English sculptors, all based their style
upon that of the Venetian master. Arguing from the supreme achievements
of the Greeks, they chose to imitate the classic manner as closely
as possible. Their technique was Greek; their subjects were Greek;
everything was Greek except their habits of thought and feeling.
To Canova and Thorvaldsen, the ideas of Winckelmann and Lessing
had come with the freshness of a newly discovered truth. They had
the stimulating force of novelty. During the following fifty years,
however, the pseudo-Greek canon was merely accepted as a convenient
form which at least had the merit of sparing the artist the trouble of
fresh invention.

The consequences, as far as English sculpture is concerned, can best be
realized from a visit to the Gibson Gallery at Burlington House, London.

Gibson, who was born in 1790, was, perhaps, the most popular of
Canova’s English pupils—assuming that he did not forfeit all claim to
be regarded as an Englishman during his twenty-seven years’ stay in
Rome. Upon his death, in 1866, he bequeathed the contents of his studio
to the British public, and they are now housed in the Diploma Gallery
at the Royal Academy. Gibson is perhaps best known through his “Venus.”
It created a stir at the time of its first exhibition, owing to the
sculptor’s attempt to popularize “tinted” sculpture, in imitation of
the classical fashion. The statue was designed to stand in a pale
purple-blue niche. The hair and eyes of the goddess were decidedly
coloured, the body being stained a rose tint. Gibson, however, failed
to persuade the public and the sculptors of his age that any departure
from an absolute dependence upon pure form was desirable. The “Tinted
Venus” was the first and the last of its race.

[Illustration: JOHN GIBSON

HYLAS AND THE NYMPHS Tate Gallery, London]

An equally illuminating example of Gibson’s style can be seen at the
Tate Gallery. This is the group, “Hylas and the Nymphs,” modelled
in 1826. The technical industry of the sculptor and his feeling for
sculptural form are obvious at once. But no one, comparing the “Hylas”
with the modern works of the British school which surround it, can fail
to see the sickly conventionalism with which it is imbued. Notice, for
instance, the modelling of the limbs of the two nymphs, and compare
them with those of the boy. Surely any imaginative sculptor of the
modern school would insist, above all, upon the obvious contrast
between the male and the female form, seeing that the story of Hylas
itself depends upon this very point. Gibson, however, practically
models the male and the female limbs, the male and the female flesh,
alike. Hylas has not the legs of a youth, nor have the nymphs, who have
been smitten by his beauty, the legs of women. Gibson has chosen to
adopt a conventional compromise, unrelated to anything in nature, and
selected for no other reason than a fancied resemblance to the Greek
style. The three figures are graceful enough. But they are unsatisfying
in the last degree to all who have felt the far more potent emotions
arising from a rigid adherence to nature. Hence “Hylas and the Nymphs”
and the works in the Gibson Gallery remain as perpetual memorials of
all that the artists of our own day had to rid themselves before the
rebirth of English sculpture was possible.

Matters improved very little during the thirty years following the
production of Gibson’s “Hylas.” What can we learn from the exhibitions
of 1851 and 1862, which may be fairly taken to represent the apotheosis
of mid-Victorian artistic taste?

In his official guide to the Fine Art Section of 1862 the editor, F.
T. Palgrave—of “Golden Treasury” fame—refers to sculpture as “the
forlorn hope of modern art,” and proceeds to answer the question
“whence this deathly decline?” The exhibition contained examples of
all that was best in English sculpture to that time. “The Falling
Titan,” by Banks, now in the Diploma Gallery; the “Thetis and Achilles”
relief, now in the Tate Gallery; Nollekens’ “Cupid and Psyche” Joseph’s
”Wilberforce” (Westminster Abbey), and works by Flaxman, Westmacott,
Chantrey, Wyatt, Watson and Park represented the earlier masters.
Sculptures by Armstead, Baily, Foley, Gibson, MacDowell, Marshall,
Woolner and the younger Westmacott witnessed to the achievements of
the living. Yet Palgrave could only grieve over the decline in natural
taste and the entire absence of that healthy severity and earnestness
of spirit in which sculpture flourishes. “Serious as the subject
claims to be,” says Palgrave, “I confess it is difficult to think of
Nollekens’ ‘Venus,’ Canova’s ‘Venus,’ Thorvaldsen’s ‘Venus,’ Gibson’s
‘Venus,’ everybody’s ‘Venus’ with due decorum. One fancies one healthy,
modern laugh would clear the air of these idle images—one agrees with
the honest old woman in the play who preferred a roast duck to all the
birds in the heathen mythology.”

In the “Albert Memorial” erected in Kensington Gardens, London, “by the
Queen and people of a grateful country,” we have a concrete example of
what was in Palgrave’s mind when he wrote.

Prince Consort was himself a man of real artistic perception. By his
magnificent work in connection with the 1851 Exhibition he had done
an immense amount to raise the standard of taste in England. Funds
were not wanting. £50,000 was subscribed by the nation and at least
another £60,000 was raised by public subscription. The Eleanor Cross
was designed by Sir Gilbert Scott and all the leading sculptors were
invited to co-operate. If the mid-Victorians had had it in them to
produce a noble work, surely we should have seen the result in the
“Albert Memorial.” An examination only confirms the general impression
which every Londoner has about the monument. The “Asia” by Foley,
for instance; the “Africa” by Theed; the “Agriculture” by the elder
Thornycroft—in none of these can we see any clear evidence that the
sculptors had yet rid themselves of the conventions which had been
hampering them for at least fifty years.


THE RISE OF NATURALISM

Nevertheless, among those engaged upon the Albert Memorial were men
who were to see the advent of a new spirit. Foley himself, who died in
1874, lived to carve the fine equestrian statue of Sir James Outram.
This was one of the earliest works to show a clear trace of the return
to the observation of nature, which was necessary if the English
sculptors were to follow the lead given by Carpeaux in France. Even in
H. H. Armstead’s work upon the frieze running round the podium of the
Albert Memorial there are traces of a largeness and vigour of treatment
indicative of better things. Both, however, were born too early to give
English sculptors a decisive lead.

Strangely enough at the very time the sculptors of England were working
upon the Albert Memorial, one of the greatest geniuses in the history
of English sculpture was working upon another national monument. We
mean Alfred Stevens, the sculptor of the “Wellington Memorial” in St.
Paul’s Cathedral—the most complete piece of decorative sculpture ever
set up in this country.

Born in 1817, Stevens went to Italy in 1833. He spent a portion of
the nine years he lived there in Thorvaldsen’s studio, but his first
study was painting. On his return to England he became a teacher of
architectural drawing at Somerset House and then started a career as
a decorative designer. Helped by such followers as Godfrey Sykes and
Moody, who carried his principles into the Government art school,
Stevens founded a school of domestic decorators which influenced
decorative art in England through the remainder of the nineteenth
century. A brilliant example of this side of Stevens’s genius is
furnished by the magnificent “Fireplace” at Dorchester House.

Stevens’s great chance as a sculptor came in 1856 when he secured the
commission for the Wellington Memorial. Such a group as the “Truth
tearing out the tongue of Falsehood” is alone sufficient to prove
how far Stevens was ahead of the English sculptors of his time in
originality of treatment and breadth of design. It is true that the
sculptor’s indebtedness to Michael Angelo is obvious, but the work of
Stevens does not show any slavish copying of the great Florentine. The
English sculptor has merely solved his problem by the light of Angelo’s
experience. He has sought to reach the boldness of mass and line which
he found in the master’s sculpture. A certain naturalism, also derived
from his study of Renaissance art, together with its magnificently
bold design and architectural fitness, gives the Wellington Memorial a
unique place in the history of English sculpture. Nevertheless, Alfred
Stevens was the Baptist of English Naturalism. He died—a voice crying
in the wilderness. So little was his work esteemed that the Wellington
Memorial itself was not brought up from the crypt and placed in the
nave of the Cathedral, where it could be seen, until long after the
sculptor’s death in 1875.


[Illustration: ALFRED STEVENS

FIGURE FROM THE FIREPLACE, DORCHESTER HOUSE, LONDON]

In spite of Stevens’s apparent failure, the elements of a regenerated
school of English sculpture existed. It only needed a man of real
artistic influence and established reputation to focus attention upon
the possibility of better things. In view of the position which the
sister art of painting held in England, it is not surprising that the
lead came from two painters. Both were men of commanding personality,
and both were in the very prime of their artistic careers. The one was
G. F. Watts, the other, of course, was Frederic Leighton.

Watts’s bronze bust, “Clytie,” was modelled some years before
Leighton’s “Athlete Struggling with a Python,” and never aroused the
enthusiastic admiration which fell to the later work. Nevertheless, the
“Clytie”—it can be seen at the Tate Gallery—was a work of real beauty
and power. Moreover, it displayed a naturalism which distinguished it
from almost all the plastic art produced in England earlier in the
century. This alone entitles G. F. Watts to an honourable place in the
history of the renascence of English sculpture.

Leighton’s “Athlete and Python” was a far more ambitious work than
Watts’s “Clytie.” It began as a small study, and the story goes that
Dalou—some say Legros—persuaded Leighton to carry out the design in
life-size. Three years later it was ready.

Probably sheer beauty of formal design was Leighton’s chief aim. But
what struck his contemporaries was the finely vigorous pose, the
splendid rendering of energetic movement and the magnificent naturalism
with which an unfamiliar subject was rendered. The man holds the
creature at arm’s-length, striving to prevent the thrust of the ugly
jaws, which threaten death if once they can bring the full weight
of the crushing coils to bear. The reception accorded to Leighton’s
“Athlete and Python” was such that it is no exaggeration to date the
model school of English sculpture from its exhibition. Appropriately
enough, it became the first purchase under the bequest of the sculptor,
Chantrey.

But all great artistic revivals are two-sided. There must be a
spiritual stimulus as well as a technical. If the first may be credited
to Leighton as far as the revival of English sculpture is concerned,
the improvement in technique is undoubtedly traceable to Jules Dalou,
the French sculptor. Our readers will remember how Dalou fled from
Paris, on account of his connection with the Commune. During his
stay in England he was persuaded to conduct the modelling class at
South Kensington. The influence of his technical example and forceful
personality began to show itself at once. Dalou made South Kensington
one of the first centres of sculptural training in the world. When he
returned to Paris, he was succeeded by Professor Lanteri—the sculptor
of the virile “Head of a Peasant,” in the Tate Gallery—whose influence
has since rivalled that of Dalou. Both were magnificently facile
workers in clay. By continued practical demonstration they proved
to the younger English sculptors the inestimable value of ease in
modelling. The English school, as a whole, is still behind the French
in facility of execution, but Dalou and Lanteri have done very much to
remedy the defect.

The Dalou influence was continued in the second great training school
of London—the Lambeth School of Art—by his pupil, W. S. Frith. The
success of Mr. Sparks’ school may be judged from the fact that Alfred
Gilbert, Frampton, Goscombe John, Harry Bates, Pomeroy and Roscoe
Mullins all graduated there. Indeed, at one time, studentship at
Lambeth seemed a necessary preliminary for all sculptors of ambition.
Year after year, the gold medal at the Royal Academy and the £200
travelling scholarship were taken by Lambeth students.

[Illustration: LORD LEIGHTON

ATHLETE STRUGGLING WITH PYTHON Tate Gallery, London]

If South Kensington and Lambeth have shared the honour of laying the
foundations of the art education of the younger English sculptors,
there are few cases in which the Academy schools cannot claim to have
completed the task. The fact is often forgotten by the Academy’s many
detractors. Under the present system, any sculptor of real promise can
practically command a complete art education. The schools are free, the
professors being the members of the Academy, who take monthly turns in
the schools. Admission is by examination—that for a sculptor entailing
the presentation of an anatomical drawing, showing bones and muscles, a
model in the round of an undraped antique, and a life-sized medallion
from the living model.

In many respects the Academy system is superior to that of the École
des Beaux Arts. Such a judge as Mr. Edwin Abbey has even recommended
American art students to choose London in preference to Paris on this
account. “In Paris,” he says, “all the personality is rubbed out of
a student. French methods and technique are hammered into him so
unceasingly that he departs a mere reflection of the movement of the
latest school. In London there is more catholicity in art matters;
originality is strongly encouraged, and the student, particularly at
the Royal Academy, is given every chance to develop along individual
lines.”

This is proved by the fact that almost all the foremost English
sculptors have been trained in the Academy schools. In France, men
of pronounced originality like Rodin and Dalou become anti-Academic
by instinct. In England, some men leave the beaten track which every
academic course must follow, more readily than others. But even the
most pronounced innovators seem able to benefit from the influence of
the Academicians during their studentship.

Still the distinction between the sculptors who preserve the academic
spirit throughout their careers and those who prefer to rely upon their
native individuality does exist. It furnishes a convenient method for
dividing the modern English school into two distinct parts. Among the
first may be reckoned Thomas Brock and Hamo Thornycroft, while the
second, and more important class, is headed by Alfred Gilbert, and
includes Onslow Ford, Harry Bates, Frampton and Swan.

Thomas Brock was born in 1847. He was a pupil of Foley and, therefore,
came sufficiently under the influence of the mid-Victorian school
to mark a transition rather than a break from the older traditions.
To-day he is pre-eminently the “safe” man in English sculpture—a fact
which accounts for his receiving the commission for the Queen Victoria
Memorial to be erected in front of Buckingham Palace. But Brock’s
“safeness” does not prevent him executing work of real beauty. The
“Eve,” in the Tate Gallery, is a work which any school of sculpture
would be proud to claim. It shows the Mother of Men as a frail girl.
She realizes for the first time what the loss of primal innocence
entails and, with bowed head, moves slowly from the garden. The
design is one of the most beautiful in English sculpture. The grace
of line displayed in the treatment of the abdomen—so beautiful in
womanhood—and the pose of the lower limbs are beyond criticism. If
the “Eve” has a fault it is that the subject is clearly susceptible of
highly dramatic treatment. In Mr. Brock’s statue there is no attempt
to express the intensity of passion which a sculptor of the temper of
Rodin would have regarded as the one thing worth rendering.

[Illustration: THOMAS BROCK

EVE Tate Gallery, London]

[Illustration: W. HAMO THORNYCROFT

THE MOWER Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool]

If Thomas Brock stands for the English academic ideal on its romantic
side, Hamo Thornycroft represents the more naturalistic side of the
same movement.

W. Hamo Thornycroft—who must be distinguished from his father, the
sculptor of a group on the Albert Memorial—was born in 1850. His first
exhibited work dates from 1871. A year later, he entered the Academy
schools, gaining the gold medal in 1874, with his group “A warrior
bearing his Wounded Son from Battle,” one of the very finest works
which ever gained a studentship. It was no empty triumph. The young
Thornycroft defeated no less an opponent than Alfred Gilbert, and his
design challenged attention against such an exhibit as Stevens’s model
for the Wellington Memorial. A man capable of such work in his student
days was bound to go far.

“The Mower” (Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool) shows to what the virile
naturalism of Thornycroft led. There is no sculpture which contains
more of the thoroughly British spirit. Englishmen have little natural
affection for the Whistler method of dashing off a “Harmony” in a
couple of days and charging 300 guineas for it. They like to detect
some definite proof of high thinking and strenuous workmanship in their
art as in everything else. A sculpture of Thornycroft always leaves
this impression. Added to that we feel that the artist is working
towards a definite end, sufficiently ideal to demand effort, yet near
enough to earth to come within his powers.

In the original sketch model of “The Mower,” the upper part of the
figure was draped. Thornycroft, however, finally discarded the shirt.
He evidently felt that the subject could be treated in a thoroughly
modern manner without departing altogether from the classical method.
He succeeded in producing a statue which is neither conventional nor
iconoclastic.

Whether this is to be counted a virtue or a vice depends upon the
critic’s temperament, but the question is, perhaps, worthy of
examination.

Meunier, the Belgian sculptor, has modelled a bronze “Mower,” which
Thornycroft’s statue irresistibly recalls. A comparison of the two
works not only throws a searching light upon the whole school of
sculpture which the Englishman represents, but, incidentally, brings
into relief the leading characteristics of Meunier’s own work. No
excuse is, therefore, necessary for interrupting our general survey
of British sculpture with a reference to a sister school which really
merits a chapter to itself.

Meunier is a man who has devoted himself to themes suggested by the
colliery and artizan life of his country.

Brought up in the Belgian Black Country, the sombre gloom of the life
there became part of his very being. After a period of continuous
struggle against poverty and sickness, he turned to sculpture at the
age of fifty, under the influence of the achievements of Rodin. As a
result, we see in Meunier’s “Mower” the thought and emotion of a man
who feels the beautiful misery of labour in the depths of his soul. The
intense human pathos enshrined in the bronze is something which the
English sculptor neither feels nor seeks to express.

[Illustration: MEUNIER (BELGIAN SCHOOL) THE MOWER]

In saying this we are in no sense disparaging Mr. Thornycroft’s work.
True, he makes no attempt to suggest the vague poetry with which
Meunier invests his Flemish or Walloon labourers. But, at any rate,
the classic severity with which he has treated an essentially modern
theme strikes us as thoroughly honest. There is no trace of a pose.
Thornycroft has set down what he saw and what he felt. The hint of
the Greek manner in the representation of the English labourer only
reminds us that the sculptor who would express the beauty of the male
form to-day is faced with the very task which the Athenian essayed 2000
years ago.

Leighton’s “Athlete and Python,” Brock’s “Eve” and Thornycroft’s
“Mower” must, then, be compared with the works of such Frenchmen as
Chapu, Idrac and Dubois. From the three Englishmen we turn naturally
enough to the sculptors who represent the movement in English art
corresponding to the anti-academic revolt in France. The characteristic
common to Leighton, Brock, and Thornycroft is a certain emotional
restraint. They seem to content themselves with the truthful
representation of natural beauty. From none of the three do we gain the
impression of a forceful individuality striving after self-expression.
Nevertheless, there is a movement in English art comparable with the
anti-academic revolt in France.


THE GROWTH OF INDIVIDUALISM

Alfred Gilbert is the Carpeaux and the Rodin of English sculpture. The
analogy must not be pressed too closely. But, as the first sculptor
to widen the bounds of his art by arousing his fellows to a sense of
fresh technical possibilities, the influence of Alfred Gilbert may
rightly be compared with that of Carpeaux. Through the constancy and
power with which he has asseverated his belief in sculpture as a means
of emotional expression, Gilbert ranks as the English Rodin.

Unlike Rodin, Gilbert has never severed his connection with the
academic school. Indeed, the Professorship of Sculpture at the Royal
Academy was actually revived in his favour in 1901. But Gilbert’s
artistic creed is essentially Rodinesque. Again and again he has
preached from the text:

“Be your own star.”

Again and again he has impressed upon the sculptors of to-morrow
the vital truth—that the future lies with men who will dare to put
themselves into marble and bronze. He has never tired of reiterating
his belief that for the sculptor:

“Strength is from within, and one against the world will always win.”

Born in 1854, Alfred Gilbert realized his vocation in early youth.
As a boy it is said that he carved heads of walking sticks for his
schoolmates. He confesses himself that he hired a small room near
Aldenham School at 1_s_. a week as a studio. Coming up to London,
he finally entered the Royal Academy schools and joined Sir Edgar
Boehm—Queen Victoria’s sculptor in ordinary—as an “improver.” After
losing the R.A. Gold Medal to Thornycroft, he crossed to Paris,
studying at the École des Beaux Arts.

Gilbert has put on record his reasons for leaving France. They are
thoroughly typical of the sculptor. Finding the influences at work
were too potent to allow of the due assertion of his own personality,
he determined to go to Italy—a stronghold of individualism. “In
Florence,” he tells us, “I saw, for the first time in my life,
the works of the fathers of the Renaissance, and I was struck by
the absolute independence and freedom of thought and truthful
representation of the ideas they possessed. So impressed was I with the
fact that their representations were not mere photographs and yet so
true to nature, that they seemed to reveal to me what I then understood
as style, but which I have since learnt to regard as the expression of
an individuality.”

This is the essence of the artistic philosophy of Alfred Gilbert. It
adumbrates a high ideal, but allied with sane craftsmanship, it is one
which has always served the sculptor who honestly strove to put its
precepts into practice. What has been the outcome in Gilbert’s case?

There is a strain of pathos in the answer. No sculptor of our day has
had more abundant opportunities. Yet, somehow, Fortune has proved a
fickle jade to Gilbert. This is particularly the case with his larger
works.

The Shaftesbury Memorial, in Piccadilly Circus, should be regarded by
every Londoner as an epoch-making work. It compares with Stevens’s
monument to the Duke of Wellington in the wealth, imagination and
craftsmanship lavished upon it. In point of fact, it is held in
universal disregard. Not one Londoner in a thousand even troubles to
remember the name of the sculptor.

The Shaftesbury Memorial was conceived under an unlucky star. Alfred
Gilbert was about thirty years of age when the commission reached him.
He accepted it as the chance of a lifetime. The design has always been
admitted to be a masterpiece, but throughout its erection, the Memorial
was dogged by misfortune, until, as it stands to-day it can hardly be
said to represent the sculptor’s idea at all. This is due to causes
largely outside his control. It is true that the aluminium figure of
the archer which surmounts it has darkened and has lost its first
silvery lightness. It may be alleged that Gilbert should have foreseen
the eventuality. But in several material respects the Memorial differs
entirely from what he proposed. At the very last moment a new base
was added at the request of a party of humanitarians who were anxious
that the thirsty Londoner might not be disappointed. Alfred Gilbert’s
design did not contemplate this, but the London County Council held
that, since the monument had taken the form of a fountain, it was only
logical—logical, forsooth!—that water should be there for man and
beast. Later the design was shorn of its ground-floor—which was to
have been a bronze basin. This space is now occupied by the steps.
The sculptor contemplated the water from the fountain playing into
the basin. The change actually reduced the structure by six feet.
Finally, the cry of a too large water bill was raised, and the jets of
all shapes and forms, which were to have played among the fishes that
form the principal part of the decorative scheme, were reduced to the
present trickle.

Our readers may remember how the artists of Florence turned out to
debate what site the “David” of the youthful Michael Angelo was to
occupy. A less tragic note would sound through the story of the
Shaftesbury Memorial if the sculptor had had to deal with a similar
body of men, instead of a committee chosen for its ability to collect
subscriptions and a soulless corporation like the London County
Council.

[Illustration: ALFRED GILBERT

SAINT GEORGE From the Clarence Memorial, Windsor]

In the nature of things it is hard to illustrate the whole of a full
and vigorous personality from one or two of his works. Perhaps Gilbert,
in his double capacity of craftsman and imaginative designer, can best
be judged from the Tomb of the late Duke of Clarence, in the Memorial
Chapel, Windsor. It has a double interest, inasmuch as it reveals at
once the strength and the weakness of his method.

Directly after the sad death of the Prince in 1892, the sculptor
was called to Sandringham. He arrived on the Saturday and learnt
the wishes of the present King and Queen. During the Sunday night
Gilbert conceived and designed the whole monument. Three days later he
submitted the completed sketch.

He knew the Wolsey Chapel in which the tomb was to be placed to be
of Gothic design and, consequently, determined upon a sarcophagus,
surrounded by an open-work grille, such as Peter Vischer might have
chosen. As it is to be seen to-day, the recumbent figure of the
Prince lies upon the bier. Two angels kneel, the one at the head, the
other at the feet. With beautiful fancy, Gilbert has carved the first
holding a crown above the dead man’s head—the crown of immortality,
which prince, peer and peasant can earn. The angel at the base of the
sarcophagus places a broken wreath on the feet—in memory of a death
upon the eve of marriage.

The figure of the “Saint George” is one of a series of Patron Saints
introduced into the grille. St. Nicholas, St. Edward the Confessor, St.
Barbara, and St. George are included, the selection depending upon some
legendary connection with the Royal House of Britain.

The “Saint George” was exhibited in the form of a statuette at the
Royal Academy. The poetical design and fine craftsmanship aroused
general enthusiasm. What could be more charming, for example, than the
grace with which Gilbert has played with his pretty fancy of basing
the armour of the Saint upon forms suggested by the sea-shells? Yet
there is nothing oppressive in the sculptor’s use of this idea. It is
never permitted to interfere with the main lines of the figure. The
insistence upon the shell-like forms has, rather, a fugal charm, the
fancy being treated now in one part of the design, now in another, a
slightly varying form here, answering a similar one there, until all
have been interwoven into one beautiful complexity.

Unfortunately, the praise that is due to a work as beautiful as the
“Saint George” cannot be given to the Clarence Memorial as a whole.
Indeed, in its place, the effect of the statuette, instead of being
heightened, is diminished. The instance is typical of the impression
left by the complete work. Brilliantly imaginative as the general
conception was, the original ideas have not fused into that grand unity
which is the last test of the greatest works of art. Between the first
conception of a great memorial—say the Medici Chapel, the Tomb of
Maximilian, or the Clarence Memorial—and the final result, there is a
great gulf fixed. More than imaginative craftsmanship is required to
bridge this. The task calls for unswerving patience and not a little
business tact. In one or another of these faculties, Gilbert seems to
be lacking. The imagination and craftsmanship which produce a work like
the “Saint George” flag before a commission of the first magnitude is
completed. An artistic creed like Alfred Gilbert’s is a magnificent
thing. But it needs to be allied with strength of character and a
rigid self-criticism. Had the English sculptor added a measure of the
nature of Michael Angelo to the strain of rich poetry and high artistic
ideality with which he has been endowed, England would have been able
to boast a genius of the first order. As things are, it can be grateful
for—an Alfred Gilbert.

[Illustration: ONSLOW FORD

EGYPTIAN SINGER Tate Gallery, London]

The sculptor who shared with Alfred Gilbert the honour of having been
the earliest Englishman to express through marble and bronze the
whole of a rich poetical philosophy was Onslow Ford. Born in 1852 and
sending his first work of sculpture to the Academy in 1875, Onslow Ford
received his early training as a painter. Indeed, he never had any
systematic instruction as a sculptor. He came into notice by winning
the “Rowland Hill” competition, the result being the statue which
stands behind the Royal Exchange, within a stone’s-throw of Dalou’s
charming bronze fountain, “Maternity.”

Very shortly after he carved the magnificent marble “Henry Irving as
Hamlet,” now at the Guildhall, the property of the Corporation of
London. The “Henry Irving” is one of the most complete efforts in
English art. The beauty of the design and the powerful modelling of
the face and hands, place the statue in the very forefront of modern
English sculpture. Added to this is the magnificent realism with which
the sculptor has preserved the sense of theatrical portraiture. The
figure is not Henry Irving; nor is it Hamlet. The imaginative insight
of the artist has been able to reach an absolute fusion of the two
ideas. It really is “Henry Irving as Hamlet.”

No reference to the genius of Onslow Ford would be complete without a
word as to his statuettes, particularly as “sculpture in little” may
well prove to be the means whereby the English sculptor will regain the
attention of the art-buyer in the near future.

One of Onslow Ford’s most charming efforts in this direction is the
delightfully whimsical “Folly.” It represents a figure with the
adolescent charms of budding womanhood balancing herself on the edge of
a precipitous rock. Toes clutching at the slippery edge—a fancy which
is characteristic of Onslow Ford—“Folly” is calling to the foolish
to follow the dream picture she can see in the distance. The charm of
the little work lies in the freshness of the conception, the perfect
balance of the figure and the beautiful realism with which form and
flesh have been rendered. “The Egyptian Singer” (Tate Gallery) is an
equally charming example of the sculptor’s art.

Onslow Ford died in 1901. A sculptor of almost equal genius, though
of less prolific accomplishment, was lost to English sculpture at an
equally early age. We are referring to Harry Bates (1847-1899). There
are two fine examples of his work at the Tate Gallery, London. Note
the grace with which the artist’s imagination has given a new turn
to so hackneyed a theme as the myth of Pandora: Bates’s “Pandora” is
less an illustration of the Greek story than it is of an episode in
the life-history of a woman of to-day. A sweet, virginal figure, she
is opening the box in which Fate has hidden the unknown, without a
premonition of the sorrows which must attend the revelation of the
secret.

The equally well-known “Hounds in Leash,” was sculptured by Bates to
prove that he was as much at home in treating a subject requiring the
expression of vigorous action as he was in the treatment of figures at
rest.

[Illustration: HARRY BATES

PANDORA Tate Gallery, London]

[Illustration: J. M. SWAN

“ORPHEUS”]

There are many sculptors in England at the present time who would claim
attention were our survey an exhaustive one. This, of course, is not
our purpose. It will therefore suffice to recall two other works in
proof of the intense individualism of latter-day sculpture in Great
Britain.

The first is J. M. Swan’s charming statuette “Orpheus,” exhibited in
the Royal Academy of 1895.

J. M. Swan is, of course, the painter. He studied first at Lambeth,
then at the Academy and finally at Paris, where he came under the
influence of Frémiet, the animal sculptor. It is as a sculptor of
animals that Swan has made his reputation. Indeed he may be roughly
labelled as the English Barye.

Note how delightfully the sinuousness of the lithe figure of the
“Orpheus” is rendered. Here we have the spirit, not the echo, of the
Greek myth. Like Barye, Swan is a realist, though his method is the
reverse of realistic, since he is more concerned with the masses than
the details. Swan’s supreme gift lies in his power to detect character
in the whole of the human and animal form. His charm depends on the
delightfully individualistic methods by which he expresses his insight.
None of his statuettes ever strike us as coming from another man’s
studio.

An equally strong individualistic note is struck in George Frampton’s
“Mysteriarch.”

This beautiful marble was exhibited in the Academy of 1893. It
affords a fine example of the sculptor’s art at its best. The bust
is set in front of a gilded disc supported upon an architecturally
treated screen, the figure being cut, Florentine fashion, just below
the shoulders. The treatment of the subject is in a high degree
imaginative, while the subtlety with which the serene severity of the
face is rendered proves the possession of fine technical powers.

George Frampton was born in 1860. He studied, like Harry Bates, under
Mr. Frith at Lambeth, passed on to the Academy school, and finished by
gaining the Gold Medal in 1887. He has since acted as an art adviser to
the Technical Education Board of the London County Council, a position
which has enabled him to give a wide currency to very definite artistic
ideals. He is one of the men with whom the future of English sculpture
rests.

This brief sketch of modern British sculpture completes our task. Our
aim has been to map out the entire history of the art. In our view the
study of the development of sculpture in terms of isolated craftsmen
would have involved a basic fallacy. The individual is no more than the
crest of a wave in the sea of mental, emotional and physical energy,
whence art arises. We have, therefore, been content to note the various
forms in which a common temper has found expression.

Doubtless it would have been possible to trace an international traffic
in thought and emotion. Its main channels might have been correlated
with the manifestations of an international art spirit. We have
preferred to avoid the standpoint of cosmopolitanism and individualism
alike, choosing the middle position—that of nationalism. The
proposition that every great art is essentially a national art may be
disputed. But it has the merit of not requiring actual demonstration.
Most of us _feel_ that the artist must draw the greater part of his
inspiration from the men and women with whom he lives and to whom he
appeals. The only thing to avoid is a too narrow use of the word.
“National” does not connote a merely territorial or a supposed racial
bond. Coleridge defined the term for all time when he wrote: “I, for
one, do not call the sod under my feet my country; but language,
religion, laws, government, blood, identity in these make men of one
country.”

[Illustration: GEORGE FRAMPTON

“MYSTERIARCH”]

That art alone is truly living which is a record and an interpretation
of national life—an epitome of the loves and the hates, the sorrows
and the joys, the caprices and the enthusiasms, of men like ourselves.

We have demonstrated that the marbles and the bronzes of the greater
schools of sculpture of the past answer to this supreme test. Surely
this justifies the proposition with which we started—“that they are
not dead things which may be left to gather dust in unfrequented
museums and galleries.”

One further claim upon the affection and regard of this restless
century may be made. Much of the greatest sculpture speaks of other
days than ours. It tells of times

    “Before this strange disease of modern life,
     With its sick hurry, its divided aims,
     Its heads o’ertax’d, its palsied hearts, was rife.”



LIST OF BOOKS


                       BIBLIOGRAPHY

    STURGIS (Russell). Annotated Bibliography of
          Fine Art, Boston (Mass.). 1897
    QUARITCH (Bernard). Catalogue of Works on the
          Fine Arts (London). 1904
    JELLINEK (Arthur L.). Art Bibliography. 1902

                  GREEK SCULPTURE IN GENERAL

    JONES (Henry Stuart). Select Passages from
          Ancient Writers illustrative of the History of
          Greek Sculpture (with a Translation). 1895
    FRAZER (J. G.). Pausanias (translated). 1900
    GARDNER (Percy) and IMHOOF-BLUMER. A
          numismatic Commentary on Pausanias, &c. 1887
    GARDNER (Ernest Arthur). Ancient Athens
          (Illustrated). 1902
    COLLIGNON (Maxime). La Polychromie dans la
          Sculpture Grecque. 1898
    COLLIGNON (Maxime). Manual of Mythology in
          relation to Greek Art. 1890
    LÖWY. Inschriften griechischer Bildhauer. 1885
           Journal of Hellenic Studies. Society for the
             Promotion of Hellenic Studies. 1880, &c.
           American Journal of Archæology (Baltimore). 1885, &c.
    FURTWAENGLER (Adolf). Masterpieces of
          Greek Sculpture Translated by Eugénie Sellers
          (Illustrated). 1895
    GARDNER (Ernest Arthur). A Handbook of Greek
          Sculpture. 1905
    COLLIGNON (Maxime). Histoire de la Sculpture
          Grecque (Illustrated). 1892-93
    MURRAY (Alexander Stuart). A History of Greek
          Sculpture (Illustrated). 1890
    AMELUNG and HOLTZINGER. Museums and
          Ruins of Rome (edited by Mrs. Strong)
    BRITISH MUSEUM. Official Guide to Sculpture
          Galleries.
    MURRAY (A. Stuart). Greek Bronzes (Portfolio).
          1899
    WALTERS (Henry Beauchamp). Catalogue of the
          Bronzes British Museum (Illustrated). 1899
    PERROT (Georges) and CHIPIEZ (Charles).
          Histoire de L’Art dans L’Antiquité. 1891
          Les Fouilles de Delphes, vol. ii. Sculpture
    PARIS (Pierre). Polyclete (Les Artistes
          Célèbres). 1895
    MURRAY (A. Stuart). The Sculptures of the
          Parthenon (Illustrated). 1903
    WALDSTEIN (Charles). Essays on the Art of
          Phidias. 1885
    COLLIGNON (Maxime). Phidias (Les Artistes
          Célèbres). 1886
    DEFRASSE (A.). and LECHAT (H.)
          Épidaure—Restauration et description des
          principaux monuments du Sanctuaire d’Asclépios
          (Illustrated). 1895
    GARDNER (Percy). Sculptured Tombs of Hellas
          (Illustrated). 1896
    PERROT (George). Praxitèle (Les Grands Artistes
          Series) (Illustrated). 1905
    CURTIUS (E.) and ADLER (F.). Olympia
          (Illustrated). 1898
    HAMDI BEY and REINACH (T.). Necropole la
          Royale á Sidon (Illustrated). 1892-6
    COLLIGNON (Maxime). Lysippe (Les Grands Artistes
          Series) (Illustrated). 1905

              POST-ALEXANDRIAN AND ROMAN SCULPTURE

    BEVAN (E. R.). House of Seleucus. 1902
    COLLIGNON (Maxime). Pergame (Restauration par
          E. Pontremoli) (Illustrated). 1900
    TORR (C.). Rhodes in Ancient Times. 1885
    MAHAFFY (J. P.). Empire of Ptolemies. 1895
    WICKHOFF (Franz). Roman Art. Translated by Mrs.
          S. A. Strong (Illustrated). 1900
    MRS. S. A. STRONG. Roman Art (Illustrated). 1907
    SYMONDS (J. A.). Antinous, from Italian Sketches
          and Studies. 1898

                 ITALIAN SCULPTURE IN GENERAL

    VASARI. The Lives of the Painters and Sculptors.
    SYMONDS (J. A.). Renaissance in Italy (vol. iv.
          The Fine Arts). 1877
    VENTURI (A.). Storia dell Arte Italiana
          (Illustrated). 1901
    BODE (Wilhelm). Renaissance Bronzes
          (Illustrated). 1907
    PERKINS (C. C.). Italian Sculpture. 1883
    REYMOND (Marcel). La Sculpture Florentine
          (Illustrated). 1897
    FREEMAN (L. J.). Italian Sculpture of the
          Renaissance. 1901

           THE PISANI AND THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY

    CONWAY (W. Martin). Early Tuscan Art. From the
          Twelfth to the Fifteenth Centuries (Illustrated). 1902
    WEIR (J. P.). Photographs of Baptistery Gates
          (L. Ghiberti), Yale College. 1873
    DOUGLAS (R. L.). History of Siena. Chapter upon
          Jacopo della Quercia
    LORD BALCARRES. Donatello (Illustrated). 1903
    CRUTWELL (Maud). Luca and Andrea della Robbia
          (Illustrated). 1902

          MICHAEL ANGELO AND THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY

    SYMONDS (J. A.). Life of Michael Angelo
          (Illustrated). 1893
    HOLROYD (C). Michael Angelo, with translation of
          Life by Condivi. 1903
    BENVENUTO CELLINI. Autobiography. Translated by
          J. A. Symonds
    DESJARDINS. Jean Bologne—La Vie et l’œuvre
    FRASCHETTI (S). Il Bernini (Illustrated). 1900
    SCULPTURE OF MONARCHICAL FRANCE
    HEADLAM (Cecil). Peter Vischer (Handbook of the
          Great Craftsmen). 1906
    GONSE (Louis). French Sculpture in the
          Fourteenth Century. 1895
    GONSE (Louis). Chefs d’œuvres des Musée de
          France (Illustrated). 1900-4
    PATTISON (Mrs. E. F. S.) (Lady Dilke).
          Renaissance of Art in France (Illustrated). 1879
    LISTER (Reginald). Jean Goujon (Illustrated). 1903
    AUQUIER (Philipe). Pierre Puget (Les Grands
          Artistes Series) (Illustrated).
    PATTISON (Mrs. E. F. S.) (Lady Dilke). French
          Sculptors of the Eighteenth Century (Illustrated). 1900
    TARBÉ (Prosper). Vie et œuvres de Pigalle
          (Illustrated). 1859
    THIRION (Henri). Les Adam et Clodion
          (Illustrated). 1885
    DIERKS. Life of Houdon (In German). 1887
    POST-REVOLUTIONARY SCULPTURE
    CICOGNARA. Works of Canova (Illustrated). 1876
    PLON (Eugene). Thorvaldsen. Life and Works.
          Translated by Mrs. Cashel Hoey (Illustrated). 1874
    HAMERTON (P. G.). Life of Rude (Modern Frenchman). 1878
    FOURCAUD (L. de.). Life of Rude (Illustrated).
          1904
    SCOTT (W. B.). British School of Sculpture. 1872
    COLVIN (Sidney). Flaxman. 1876

               MODERN SCULPTURE

    BROWNELL (W. C.). French Art. 1902
    CLARÉTIE (J.). Contemporary Sculpture
          (Illustrated). 1881-7
    ARSÈNE (Alexandre). Life of A. L. Barye
          (Illustrated). 1889
    CHESNAU (E.). Le Statuaire de J. B. Carpeaux
          (Illustrated). 1880
    DREYFOUS (M.). Dalou. La vie et son Œuvre
          (Illustrated). 1903
    LAWTON (F.). Life of Rodin (Illustrated). 1906
    MAUCLAIR (C.). Rodin. 1905
    SPIELMANN (M. H.). British Sculptures and
          Sculptors of To-day (Illustrated). 1901
    HATTON (Joseph). Alfred Gilbert. Art Journal
          (Illustrated). 1903
    ARMSTRONG (W.). Life of Stevens. 1881
    STANNUS (Hugh). Alfred Stevens (Illustrated). 1891
    WILLARD (A. R.). History of Modern Italian Art
          (Illustrated). 1900
    TAFT (L.). History of American Sculpture
          (Illustrated). 1903
    DESTREE (O. G.). Sculpture in Belgium
          (Portfolio) (Illustrated). 1905
    LEMONNIER (Camille). Constantin Meunier
          (Illustrated). 1904
    WIEGAND (Otto). German Sculpture.



INDEX


    Abbey, Edwin, 289
    Academy, Royal
      Foundation of, 258, 261
      Schools, 289, 290, 294
      Medals, 261, 289, 291, 294, 302
      Exhibits at, 297, 299, 301
    Accademia delle Belle Arti, 204
    Achæan League, 108
    Acropolis at Athens, 12, 27, 77, 260
      At Pergamus, 91
    Ægospotami, 47, 194
    Æschylus, 8, 194
    Ætolian League, 109
    “Africa,” by Theed, 285
    Agasias, 69
    Agatharchus, painter, 56
    Ageladas, 23
    “Age of Brass,” by Rodin, 273, 275
    Agesander, 94
    “Agias” of Lysippus, 73
    Agostino di Duccio, 186
    “Agriculture,” by Thornycroft (the elder), 285
    Alaric, 139
    Albert Memorial, 284, 285
    Alcamenes, 36, 50
      “Pentathlon Winner” of, 23
    Alcibiades, 56
    Alexander the Great, 66
      Portrait by Lysippus, 78
    Alexander of Pheræ, 66
    Alexandria, sculpture of, 97, 98
      “The Nile,” 97, 98
      Conquest by Rome, 116
    Alexandrian Empire, 84, 85
    Allée d’Eau at Versailles, 239
    Altar of Zeus. _See_ Zeus
    Aluminium, 296
    Aldenham School
      Alfred Gilbert at, 294
    Amboise, Cardinal of, 228
    American sculpture. _See_ Preface
    Amphion, 97
    Anet, Castle of, 230
    Angelico, Fra, 165, 184
    Angelo. _See_ Michael Angelo
    Angers, David d’, 265
    Anne of Brittany, 226
    Antigonus, 86
    Antinopolis, 137
    Antinous, 137, 138
    Antioch, on the Orontes, 86, 87
    Antiochus IV., 88
    Antipater, 86
    Apamea, City of, 87
    Aphrodite
      Hellenistic conception of, 111
      “Aphrodite of Cnidus,” 61-64, 96, 228
      Comparison with “Venus of Medici,” 112
      Compared with Canova’s “Venus,” 249, 250
    Apollo
      Type fixed by Praxiteles, 57
      “Apollo Belvedere,” 105, 108, 228
      Count Stroganoff’s statuette, 106-107
      Comparison with Pergamene style, 107
      Popularity in eighteenth century, 248
      “Apollo and Daphne” by Bernini, 218
      “Apollo and the Nymphs,” by Girardon, 237-239
    “Apoxyomenus” of Lysippus, 68-70, 74, 75
    Ara Pacis, of Augustus, 130
    Aratus, 108
    Archaistic art, 12, 122
    Architecture, 12, 29, 145, 146, 149, 152, 198, 222
    “Ares Ludovisi,” 71
    Argos, 108
      Second to Athens as an artistic centre, 22, 31
    “Ariadne” in Vatican, 228
    Aristogiton, 13
    Aristonidas of Rhodes, 103
    Armourers, Guild of, Florence, 172
    Armstead, H. H., 284, 285
    Artemesia, 48, 49
    “Artemis of Versailles,” 106
    Asceticism
      In Gothic art, 152
      In Italian Renaissance, 165, 173, 177
      In French sculpture, 231
    “Asclepius,” British Museum, 42
    “Asia,” by Foley, 285
    Aspasia, 60
    Assisi, Francis of, 156-157, 161
    Assisi, Upper Church at, 157
    “Athamas,” Statue by Aristonidas, 103
    Athena, 27
      Polias, 30
      Parthenos, 8, 28-32, 35, 119
      “Lemnian Athena,” of Phidias, 77
      “Triumph of Athena,” at Pergamus, 92, 112
    Athenodorus, 94
    Athens, 8, 22, 44, 77, 84
      Influence of Ionia, 11, 12
      Painted dedicatory statues from Acropolis, 12-13
      Superiority over Dorian School, 22-24
      Effects of Persian invasion, 25, 28
      Parthenon, 27-33
      Decline of Empire, 44-49
      “Athens, the school of Hellas,” 47, 48
      Ceramicus at, 54-55
      Growth of individualism in, 53-56
      Women in, 58-60, 110-112
      Historical circumstances (362-338 B.C.), 66-68
      Influence upon Alexandrian Empire, 84, 85
      In Hellenistic times, 101-102, 114
      Plundered by Sulla, 119
      Visited by Roman Republicans, 118
      Rebuilt, by Hadrian, 137, 138
      Athens Museum, 12, 13, 103
    “Athlete struggling with Python,” by Leighton, 281, 287, 288, 293
    Athletic statuary
      Influence upon Hellenic art, 14-24, 169
      In fourth century, 67-69
    Attalus I., 91
    Augustus Cæsar, 124, 131
      Augustan Rome last Hellenistic centre, 127
      “Organiser of Roman Imperialism,” 124, 125, 129, 130
      Statue of, in Vatican, 125, 127, 128
      Ara Pacis of, 130
    Aurelius, Marcus
      Equestrian statue of, 139
      German invasion under, 139
    Austrian ascendency in Italy, 200, 218
    Autobiography of Cellini, 203, 204, 205-209, 228-229
    Avila, Convent of St. Joseph, 217

    Babou de la Bourdaisière, 225
    Babylonia, 7, 11, 35, 266
    Baily, E. H., 284
    Banks, Thomas, 284
    Baptistery at Florence, 162, 199, 275
    Barbara, St., 297
    Barberini Maffeo, 214
    Bargello, 173, 210
    Baroco style. _Also see_ Bernini, 216
    Barye, 265, 267, 301
      “Centaur and Lapith,” 266
    Bates, Harry, 288, 290, 302
      “Pandora,” 300
    Baudelaire, 275
    Bayeaux, 148
    Bedford, Duke of, 259
    Belgian school, 237, 292, 293
    Bellini, Giovanni, 184
    “Belvedere Apollo.” _See_ Apollo
    Bentivoglio, 181
    Berlin Museum, 92
    Bernini and the Catholic reaction, 198, 200, 212-218
      Rebuilds St. Peter’s, 214
      “St. Teresa,” by, 216-217
      “Apollo and Daphne,” by, 218
      Fountains by, 218
      Visit to France, 235
      Influence upon Puget, 237
    “Birth of Venus,” by Botticelli, 196
    Boehm, Sir Edgar, 294
    Boethus of Chalcedon, 115
    Bologna, 181
    Bologna, Giovanni, 198, 200, 203, 218
      “Mercury,” by, 210
      “Rape of Sabine Women,” by, 211
      Influence upon French School, 211
      Characteristics of his art, 210-212
    Bontemps, 227
    Borghese, Pauline, 249-250
    Borgia, Cæsar, 200
    Borgia, Francis, 215
    Boscoreale, 115
    Botticelli, 184, 187, 196, 222, 232
    Boucher, 243
    Bourges, 148, 150
    “Boy strangling Goose,” 115
    Brennus, 106
    British Museum, 77, 230, 258
    British school, 256-262, 280-302
      Northern art, characteristics of, 221-224
      Italian influence in sixteenth century, 256-257
      Historical circumstances during seventeenth and
         eighteenth centuries,257, 258
      Society of Dilettanti, 258-260
      Pseudo-Greek canon, effects of, 260-262, 281, 293
      Mid-Victorian, 283-285
      Comparison with French, 257, 280, 281, 293
      Naturalistic revival, 285-293
      Growth of individualism, 293-302
    Brock, Thomas, 290, 293
      “Eve,” 290
      Victoria Memorial, 290
    Bronze, 24, 103, 105, 120, 121
      Compared with marble, 68
      Original Greek, 102, 115, 121
      Casting of Cellini’s “Perseus,” 205-209
    Brotherhood of San Michele, 171
    Brunelleschi, Filippo, 163, 173
    Bruni d’Arezzo, Leonardo, 166
    “Bruno, St.” by Houdon, 244
    Buonarroti, Ludovico, 185
    Burlington House, 282
    Byron, 89, 266
    Byzantine art, 140, 141, 155

    Cæsar, Julius, 119
      Founder of Roman Imperialism, 124, 129
      Portrait bust, 125, 126, 130
    Calydonian boar, 72
    Canova, 244-256, 262
      His Hellenism compared with Donatello’s, 174
      A borrowed Hellenism, 247, 254, 262, 281
      “Cupid and Psyche,” 249
      “Pauline Borghese,” 249, 250
      Napoleon, statue of, 250
      Flaxman compared with, 261, 262
      French School, influence on, 263, 271
      British School, influence on, 281-284
    “Cantoria,” by Luca della Robbia, 178, 179
      By Donatella, 178
    Caracalla, Baths of, 97
    Carpeaux, 265, 267, 268, 271, 285
      Art training, 267
      “Flora,” by, 267, 274
      “Dance,” by, 268
    Caraffa, 213
    Carrara marble mines, 154, 191
    Carrier-Belleuse, 273
    Catholic Church
      Attitude of early Church towards sculpture, 140, 141
      Gothic Art, influence on, 146-152, 165
      Italian Platonists, 174
      Patrons of sculptors in fifteenth and sixteenth centuries,
                          190, 191, 199
    Catholic reaction, 198, 200, 212-218
      Historical circumstances, 212-214
      Effect on sculpture, 214-218
      Ideals of, 215-216
      Effect on sculpture, 216-217
      and Puget, 237
    Cella of Parthenon, 29
    Cellini, Benvenuto, 198, 200, 203-210, 218
      Early life, 204
      French visit, 205, 228, 257
      “Perseus,” 205-210
      “Jove,” silver statue of, 229
      Michael Angelo compared with, 210
    “Centaur and Lapith,” by Barye, 266
    Ceramicus, 54, 55
    Cerigotto bronze, 102
    Chæronea, 66, 67
    Chambord, Châteaux of, 227
    “Chant du Départ,” by Rude, 255, 267
    Chantrey, Sir F., 284
    Chantrey Bequest, 288
    Chapu, Henri, 293
    “Charioteer of Delphi,” 14
      Mausoleum, comparison with Delphi Charioteer, 50
    Chares of Lindus, 104
    Charles the Great, 145, 146, 234
    Charles V., 202, 213
    Charles VIII., 225, 228
    Chartres, 148, 150
    Chatsworth, 252
    Chiarmonti, “Daughter of Niobe,” 51
    Child with Lantern, Terme Museum, 115
    Chios, 12
    Christianity
      Attitude towards sculpture, 117, 140, 141, 224
      _See also_ Catholic Church
    Chryselephantine statues, 36, 56
      Athena Parthenos, 28
      Zeus at Olympia, 36
      Hera at Argos, 36
      Asclepius at Epidaurus, 42
    Cimon, 26, 27, 181
    Cipriani, 260
    Cithæron, 97
    City-state system
      Civic pride in fifth-century Greece, 15, 16, 26, 27, 33,
                                           41, 108, 153
      Necessity for physical fitness in Greece, 16, 17, 18, 67, 68, 69
      Decline of civic pride, 46, 48, 49, 67
      Political circumstances in fourth century, 46, 47, 67
      Effects on sculpture, 69, 79, 80
      Hellenistic age, 108, 109, 110
      In France, 147, 148
      In Northern Italy, 153, 154, 160, 166, 169, 181, 199, 200, 214
    Clarence, Duke of, 297
    Clarence Memorial, Windsor, 297-299
    Clement VII., 191, 192
    Clement XIII., 244
    Clermont, 147
    Clodion (Claude, François Michel), 243
    Cluet, Jean, 225
    Cluny Museum, 243
    Cnidus. _See_ Praxiteles’ Aphrodite
    Cockerell, C. R., 50
    Colbert, 235, 236
    Colleoni Monument, by Verocchio and Leopardi, 139, 180
    Collignon, Maxime, 129
    Colombe, Michel
      Tomb of Francis II. of Brittany, 225
      Founder of School of Tours, 225
    Colossus at Rhodes, 104
    Colour in statuary
      Athenian dedicatory, 13
      Parthenon, 29
      Mausoleum, 50
      Aphrodite of Cnidus, 62
      Sidon Sarcophagi, 76
      “Augustus” in Vatican, 127, 128
      Collignon’s “Polychromie dans la Sculpture Grecque,” 129
      Evidence from wall paintings at Pompeii and Herculaneum, 129
      “Tinted Venus,” by Gibson, 282
    Commune, 272
    Company of Jesus. _See_ Jesuits
    Condé, Hotel de, 235
    Condivi, 188-189
    Congreve, 114
    Constable de Bourbon, 204
    Constantine, 140
    Constantinople, 76, 140
    Convent of St. Paul, Parma, 195
    Copenhagen, 251
    Corinth, 119
    Correggio, 184, 195, 222, 277
    Corupedion, Battle of, 86
    Cos, 61
    Cosimo de Medici, 181-182, 192, 201
    Cosimo, Piero di, 187
    Cosmopolitanism, influence of modern, 110, 246, 302
    Council of Trent, 202, 213
    Cour des Comptes, Paris, 275
    Cousin, 227
    “Creation Panel” in Ghiberti’s Baptistery gates, 165
    Cresilas, 77
    Criticism, modern sculptural, 70-76
    Critius, 14
    Crusades, 147, 154
    “Cupid and Psyche,” by Canova, 249
    “Cupid and Psyche,” by Thorvaldsen, 251
    “Cupid, The Winged,” Mr. Pierpont Morgan’s, 115

    Dalou, Jules
      Pierre Puget and, 237
      École des Beaux Arts, 271, 272, 289, 290
      “Triumph of Silenus,” 272
      Rodin, connection with, 271
      Visit to England, 272, 287, 288
      “Maternity” by, 299
    “Danaid, Fallen,” by Rodin, 274
    “Dance,” by Carpeaux, 268
    Dante, influence on Rodin, 275
    Dashwood, Sir Francis, 259
    “David,” by Donatello, 173, 174, 188
      By Michael Angelo, 185-188, 296
    David d’Angers, 265
    David (painter), 253
    “Dawn,” by Michael Angelo, 193, 194, 196, 278
    “Death of Socrates,” 54
    Dedicatory offerings, Greek, 13, 18
    Delacroix, 264, 266
    Delafosse, 239
    Delphi, 73, 106, 119
    Demetrius, of Alopece, 79
    Demosthenes, 66, 67
    Devonshire, Duke of, 252
    “Dexileus Relief,” 54
    “Diadumenus” of Polyclitus, 22
    “Diana,” archaistic, Naples, 12
    “Diana,” by Houdon, 244
    Diana of Poitiers, 230-231, 232
      Statue of, in Louvre, 230
    Diappus, his “Perixyomenus,” 74, 75
    Dijon, 255
    Diocletian, 140
    Dionysus, Theatre of, 67
    Diploma Gallery, London, 282, 284
    Dirce, 97
    “Discobolus” of Myron, 15, 21, 23
      “Standing Discobolus,” 23
    Donatello, 168-174
      Assists Ghiberti, 164, 168
      Burgher patrons, 169, 170, 199
      Or San Michele, 172
      “St. Mark,” its Gothic character, 172, 173
      “St. George,” 172, 173
      “David,” 173, 188
      Platonism, influence of, 173-176
      Pisani, comparison with, 177, 178
      Cantoria, 178
      Luca della Robbia and, 178
      Rodin, compared with, 278, 279
    Dorchester House, 286
    Dorian invasion, 9
      Dorian sculptors, 22
        _See also_ Polyclitus
    “Doryphorus” of Polyclitus, 22
    Drama, Greek, 8
    Drapery, 31, 152
    Dresden Gallery, 194
    Dubois, Paul, 270, 293
    Duomo at Florence, 187, 195
    Durer, 224
    “Dying Gaul,” 88-93
      Inspired by Gaulish invasion, 89, 90
      Compared with later Pergamene art, 92, 93
    “Dying Jocasta,” 103, 104

    Eastern Empire. _See_ Byzantium
    École des Beaux Arts
      Rude’s opinion, 254
      Influence on French sculpture, 269-272
      Rodin and, 274
      Compared with Royal Academy, 289
      Alfred Gilbert and, 294, 295
    Egypt
      Ancient, 7, 9, 11, 35
      Ptolemaic age, 97, 98
      Hadrian, time of, 137
    “Egyptian Singer,” by Onslow Ford, 300
    Elgin marbles, 30, 31, 260
    Elgin, Thomas, Earl of, 260
    Elusis, Sacred Way to, 54
    Epheboi, 67
    Epidaurus
      Chryselephantine statue of Asclepius at, 42
    “Eros” of Praxiteles, 60
      Of Thespiae, by Praxiteles, 61
      Of Centocelle, 61
    ’Estampe, Madame D., 229
    Este family, 181
    Eumenes II., 91
    Euphranor, 36
    Eutychides of Sicyon, 87
    “Eve,” by Brock, 290, 293
    Exhibitions of 1851 and 1862, 283, 284
    Falconet, Etienne Maurice, 242
      “L’amour Menaçant,” 242, 243
    Falguière, 270
    Falieri, Senator, 249
    “Falling Titan,” by Banks, 284
    “Farnese Bull,” 97
    “Farnese Hercules,” 101, 102
    “Fates, The Three,” from Parthenon pediment, 31, 112
    Feltre, Vittorino of, 174-175
    Ferrara, 160, 181
    Ferruccio, Francesco, 187
    Fireplace, by Alfred Stevens, at Dorchester House, 286
    Flaxman
      Connection with Neo-classical revival, 246, 247, 254, 261, 262
      Early life, 261
      Wedgwood, association with, 261
      “Michael and Satan,” 261
      Homeric illustrations, 262
      Elgin marbles, opinion upon, 260
      Successors of, 281, 284
    “Flora,” by Carpeaux, 267, 274
    Florence
      Struggles between Empire and Papacy, 153
      Rise of city-state system, 153
      Contention between city and city, 160, 169
      Centre of intellectual activity in Italy, 160
      Influence of Pisani upon sculpture, 157, 158, 164
      Increase in trade and wealth, 169
      Burghers’ pride in city, 169
      Florentine guilds, their political influence, 169
        Commissions for Baptistery gates, 162-164, 166, 169
        Or San Michele, Oratory of, 171
        Commissions for statuary on, Or San Michele, 172, 199
      Cathedral, building of, 171
      Luca della Robbia’s “Cantoria,” 178, 179
      Influence of Medici family, 181, 191, 192, 196, 199, 203
      Lorenzo the Magnificent, 182
      State commissions Michael Angelo’s “David,” 185-187
      Siege of, 196
      Extinction of republic, 199
      Loss of liberty, 200, 201
      Decline of burgher class, 201
      Cellini at, 205, 209
      Sends craftsmen to France, 228
      National Museum, 163
    Foley, 284
      “Asia” in Albert Memorial, 285
      “Sir James Outram,” 285
    “Folly,” by Onslow Ford, 300
    Fontenoy, 241
    Ford, Onslow, 290
      “Rowland Hill” competition, 299
      “Henry Irving as Hamlet,” 299
      Statuettes “Folly” and “Egyptian Singer,” 300
    Fontainebleau
      School of, 205
      Palace of, 227-229
    Fountain of the Dragon at Versailles, 238, 239
    Fountain of Innocents, by Goujon, 230
    Fountain of Trevi, by Bernini, 218
    Fouquet, 225
    Frémiet, 301
    Fragonard, 240, 242
    Frampton, George, 290
      Art training, 288, 302
      “Mysteriarch,” 301, 302
      London County Council, connection with, 302
    France
      Northern mysticism, 221-224
      Communal life, rise of, 147
      Cathedrals built by lay guilds, 148
      Catholic Church, influence of, 148
      Cathedrals compared with Greek temples, 148-151
      Italian circumstances more favourable to sculpture, 152, 153
      Refuses anti-Humanistic creed of Reformation, 213, 224
      Italian Renaissance, influence of, 211, 213, 225, 228
      Tours, school of, 225, 226
      Political circumstances after 1515 A.D., 226, 227
      Francis I., “Creator of French Sculpture,” 227-229
      Cellini at Court of Francis I., 205, 228, 229
      Fontainebleau, school of, 205, 229
      Goujon, First French sculptor, 230
      Influence of women upon art, 230-233, 241, 243
      Louis Quatorze, political circumstances under, 234
      Versailles, 234-236, 237-239
      Puget and Louis Quatorze, 236
      Influence of Bernini and Catholic reaction, 237
      Louis Quinze and Louis Seize, 239-245
      Popularity of single figures and statuettes, 240, 242, 243
      Pigalle and Saxe Memorial, 241, 242
      Eighteenth-century sculpture, characteristics of, 243
      Revolution, 253-256
      Pseudo-Hellenic school, 263-264
      Renascence of individualism, 263, 265-268
      Academic sculptors of to-day, 268-272
      Dalou and Rodin, 271-279
      Modern French sculpture compared with British, 280, 281
    Francis I.
      In Italy, 213
      Cellini at court of, 205, 228, 229
      “Creator of French sculpture,” 227, 234
      His buildings, 227-229
    Francis of Assisi
      Love of Nature, 156, 157
      Influence upon Naturalism, 157
      Andrea Pisano, and, 156, 158, 161
      Franciscans compared with Jesuits, 214, 215
    Friedland, 255
    Frieze of Parthenon
      Use of colour, 29
      Panathenaic procession, 30, 31
    Frith, W. S., 288, 302
    Frost, K. T., criticism upon “Apoxyomenus,” 69, 75
    Fürtwangler, Professor
      Upon Stroganoff Bronze, 107
      Upon bust of “Julius Cæsar,” footnote, 125

    Gaillon, Châteaux of, 228
    Gainsborough, 256, 262
    Galérie des Glaces, Versailles, 240
    Gardner, Mr. E. A., 50
    Gardner, Mr. Percy, 73
    “Gate of Hell,” by Rodin, 274-277
    Gaulish invasion
      Of Asia Minor, 90-92, 106
      Of Greece, 106
      Of Rome, 139, 146
      Pergamene art, effects on, 88-93
      Hellenistic art, effects on, 105-108
      “Dying Gaul,” 89
      “Gaul killing his wife,” 89
    Genoa, 153, 154
    “George, St.” by Gilbert, 297, 298
    Gericault, 266
    Germany
      Mysticism in, 221-223
      Protestantism in, 213
      Sculpture after Reformation, 223, 224, 298
      Modern sculpture, preface, 298
    Ghiberti, Lorenzo, 162-173, 184
      Early life and art education, 162
      Baptistery Gates competition, 162-164
      “Gates of Paradise,” 164-168, 275
      Pictorial quality in his art, 165, 167, 172
      Revolt against asceticism, 165, 177, 178
      Donatello compared with, 168, 172
      Or San Michele commissions, 170-173
      “John the Baptist,” 171
      “Saint Matthew,” 172
    Gibbons, Grinling, 257
    Gibson, John
      Visit to Rome, 247, 282
      “Tinted Venus,” 282, 284
      “Hylas and the Nymphs,” 282, 283
      Gibson Gallery, Burlington House, 282, 283
    Gilbert, Alfred, 293-299
      Early life, 294
      Lambeth School of Art, 288, 289
      Royal Academy Schools, 291, 294
      France, visit to, 294, 295
      Florence, visit to, 295
      Shaftesbury Memorial, 295, 296
      Clarence Memorial, 297-299
      “Saint George,” 297, 298
      The Carpeaux and Rodin of British sculpture, 290, 293, 299
    Ginevra, Maria, 207
    Giorgione’s “Venus,” 194
    Giotto
      Andrea Pisano, influence upon, 157, 161
      Ghiberti compared with, 165
      Bernini compared with, 214, 215
    Giovanni de Medici, 181
    Giuliano, Duke of Nemours, tomb of, 192-197
    Girardon, Francis
      Giovanni Bologna, influence upon, 211
      Inspector of Sculpture at Versailles, 237
      Versailles Gardens, 238, 239
      “Apollo and Nymphs,” 237, 238
      “Rape of Proserpine,” 211
      “Fountaine en Pyramide,” 239
    Glycon, 101
    Goethe, 248
    Goldsmithery, influence upon sculpture, 162, 205
    Gonzaga, Family of, 175, 181
    Goscombe John, _see_ John
    Gothic art, 145-154
      Mysticism in Northern Europe, 152, 153, 221-223
      Dates from about 1000 A.D., 145, 146
      Historical circumstances, 146, 147
      Cathedrals, 147, 148
      Compared with Hellenic, 148-153
      Compared with Italian, 152, 153, 177, 178
      Sculpture, 149-151
      Drapery in, 152
      Rodin and, 279
    Goujon, Jean
      Employed by Francis I., 227, 257
      Fountain of the Innocents, 230
      “Diana” from Anet, 230
      Diana of Poitiers, and, 230-233
    Gozzoli, 164
    Græco-Roman style, 116, 118, 120-131, 155, 156
    Grand Prix de Rome, 244, 254, 269
    Greek colonies, 11
    Greek sculpture, _see_ Hellenic and Hellenistic
    Gregory VII., 147
    Gregory XIII., 198
    Guido Reni, worship of Byzantine “Madonna della Guardia,” 10
    Guildhall, 299
    Guilds, Florentine
      Giovanni de Medici, leader of lesser, 181
      Commission Baptistery gates, 162 164, 166, 171
      Commission Or San Michele statuary, 172
    Guinigi, Paolo, 178
    Guise, Hotel de, 235

    Hadrian
      Trajan’s policy, reaction against, 137
      Effect on sculpture, 138
      His buildings, 137
      Athens, visit to, 138
      Antinous and, 137, 138
    Hamdi Bey, 76
    Hamilton, Lady, 232
    Hannibal, 123
    Harmodius, 13
      Statue, by Cretius and Nesiotes, 14
    “Head of Peasant,” by Lanteri, 288
    Heine, 221, 266
    Hellenic age of Greece, 6-80
      Early beginnings, 6-11
      Growth of Naturalism, 11-14
      Effect of athleticism, 14-24, 69
      Effect of religious beliefs, 16, 33-43, 217
      Effect of civic ideals, 15, 16, 32, 33, 109
      Comparison of philosophy with mysticism of North, 221-223
      Persian invasion, 26-28, 91, 106
      The fifth century “The golden age,” 41, 45, 46, 183
      Athens, “The School of Hellas,” 47, 48
      Transition to fourth century, 44-46
      Historical circumstances in fourth century, 46-49, 66-68
      Growth of individualism, 44-49, 53-56, 110
      More passionate note, 49-53
      Home life, 55, 56
      Womanhood, 58-64
      Reaction against fourth-century individualism, 65-69
      Portraiture, 77-80
      Transition to Hellenistic, 80, 83, 84
      Winckelmann upon Hellenism, 248
      Sculpture compared with Bernini’s, 217
      Sculptures compared with Rodin’s, 279
    Hellenistic age of Greece, 97-116
      Definition and comparison with Hellenic, 84, 99-101
      Historical circumstances during, 84-87, 106, 108, 109
      Decline of patriotism, 110
      Growth of individualism, 109, 110
      Comparison with twentieth-century ideals, 110
      Womanhood and home life, 110-113
      Sphere of Greek influence widened, 84, 85
      Absence of artists of first order, 99, 100
      Lesser intensity of motion, 113-116
      Tendency towards theatricalism, 96, 97
      Decline of fine critical faculty, 104
      Growth of allegory, 115
      Followers of Lysippus, 100-104
      Followers of Praxiteles, 105-108
      Conquest by Rome, 116
      Influence upon Roman art, 118, 119
    Henry II. of France, 230
      Tomb by Germain Pilon, 225
    Henry IV. of Germany, 153
    Henry IV. of France, 233, 234
    Henry VII., tomb in Westminster Abbey, 256
    Henry VIII. of England, 256
    Hephaestus, 29, 31
    Hera, 35
      Chryselephantine statue of, by Polyclitus, 36, 38
      “Of Samos, Louvre,” 11
      “Ludovisi,” 41
      “Barberine,” 42
    Heræa of Elis, 17
    Herculaneum, 129
    Hercules
      Type fixed by Lysippus, 101
      Statue at Lansdowne House, 74
      “Farnese,” 101, 102
      “Commodus,” 228
    “Hermaphroditus,” of Praxiteles, 194
    Hermes
      Type fixed by Praxiteles, 57
      “Bearded Hermes,” of fifth century, 57
      “Hermes,” of Praxiteles, 46, 57, 58, 195
      Compared with “Belvedere Apollo,” 107
    Hermitage, 244
    Hetaerae, 59, 60
    Hieron of Syracuse, 14
    Hobbs, 147
    Holbein, 224
    Holland, 222, 281
    Holy Roman Empire, 153
    Home life in Greece
      Sacrificed in fifth century, 55
      In fourth century, 56
      In Hellenistic time, 110
    Homer, 8, 34, 114
      Influence on sculpture, 35, 36, 42
      Flaxman’s Homeric illustrations, 262
    Hope, Thomas, 251
    Houdon, Jean-Antoine
      An eighteenth-century artist, 243, 244
      Visit to Italy, 244
      “Saint Bruno,” 244
      “Diana,” 244
      “Voltaire,” 244, 245
    “Hounds in Leash,” by Harry Bates, 300
    Hugo, Victor, 264, 266
    Humann, Carl, 92
    “Hylas and Nymphs,” by Gibson, 282, 283

    Ictinus, 28, 32
    Idealistic school of Praxiteles contrasted with realistic
       school of Lysippus, 70
    Idrac, Antoine, 270, 293
      “Mercury inventing the Caduceus,” 270
    Ignatius of Loyola, 215, 216
    Ilaria del Carretto, Tomb by Quercia, 178
    “Immaculate Conception,” by Puget, 236-237
    Imperialism
      Failure of, in Athens, 44-49
      Roman, 117-141
        Founded by Julius Cæsar, 129
        Effect on sculpture, 130
        Climax under Trajan, 132-136
        Effect on sculpture, 131, 135, 136
        Reaction under Hadrian, 136
        Effect on sculpture, 138
        Downfall of, 139, 140
        Effect on portraiture, 140
      British, 133-136, 257, 258
    Impressionist sculpture compared with Impressionist painting, 278
    India, 84, 133
    Individualism
      In fifth-century Hellas, 15-17, 109, 110
      Growth of, in fourth century, 44, 49, 55, 56
      Effects on sculpture, 49-53, 54, 55, 69, 75
      In Hellenistic age, 101, 109, 110
      Effects on sculpture, 110-113
      Absent in Roman Empire, 130-132, 136
      In Italian city-states, 176, 177
      Modern individualism, 109, 110, 262, 264
      Effects on French sculpture, 265, 266
      Of Rodin, 273, 279
      Effects on English sculpture, 293, 302
    Innsbruck, 223
    Ionia, 11
    Ipsus, Battle of, 86
    “Irving, Henry, as Hamlet,” by Onslow Ford, 299
    Isis, Temple of, 98
    Italy
      Philosophy compared with Northern mysticism, 152, 153, 221-223
      Circumstances after twelfth century, compared with French, 152-154
      Struggles between Emperor and Pope and city and city, 153, 160
      Pisa, 154-158
      Slow growth of sculpture compared with Greece, 159-160
      All centres of culture assist in moulding Italian Renaissance, 160
      Florence, 161-173, 181, 182
      Platonists, 173-178, 188
      Indebtedness to Greek sculpture, 174, 176
      Individualism in, 176, 177
      Educational ideals, 174, 175
      Status of sculptors compared with Gothic, 177, 187
      The Medici, 181, 182
      Michael Angelo, 183-197
      Catholic Church in fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, 190
      Political circumstances in early sixteenth century, 194-197
      Political circumstances between 1527 and 1580 A.D., 198-203
      Absence of political stability, 200
      Decline in morality, 201
      Cellini, 203-210
      Catholic Reaction, 212-218
      During Austrian ascendency, 200, 218
      Canova, 246-256
      Influence upon France, 228, 237
      Influence upon England, 256, 257
    Ivory, 36, 38

    Jacopo della Quercia. _See_ Quercia
    Jahn, Otto, 128
    “Jason,” by Thorvaldsen, 251
    Jerusalem, capture of, 154
    Jesuits, 213, 215
    “John the Baptist,” by Ghiberti, 171
    John of Douay. _See_ Giovanni da Bologna, 210
    John, Goscombe, 288
    “John, Saint,” by Dubois, 270
      By Rodin, 273, 277
    Joseph’s “Wilberforce,” 284
    Julius II., Tomb of, 189-191
    Juste, Jean, 225, 226

    King Arthur, by Peter Vischer, 223-224
    Kipling, Rudyard,
      Comparison with sculptor of Nerva, 134, 135
    Kneller (painter), 259
    “Kiss, The,” by Rodin, 275, 276

    Lambeaux, Jef. (Belgian sculptor), 237
    Lambeth School of Art, 288, 289
    “L’amour Menaçant,” by Falconet, 242
    Lansdowne House, statue of Heracles, 74
    Lanteri, Professor, 288
    Laocoon Group, 93-97, 228
    “Laocoon” of Lessing, 248
    Lastricali, Alessandro, 207
    Laurion silver mines, 67
    Le Brun, Charles, 237, 240
    Legros, A., 287
    Leighton, Lord, 281, 287
      “Athlete struggling with Python,” 281, 287, 288, 293
    Lemoyne, 242
    Lennox, Charles, Duke of Richmond, 260
    Le Notre, André, 238
    Leopardi, The Colleoni Monument, 180
    Leo X., 97, 190, 192
    Lessing, 248, 255, 260, 282
    Library of Hadrian, 137
    Lichfield Cathedral, 148
    “Lion,” by Barye, in Louvre, 266
    Lippi, Filippino, 187
    Liverpool Walker Art Gallery, 291
    Livia, Villa of, 128
    Loggia dei Lanzi, 187, 202, 209
    Lombardy, 145
    London County Council, 296, 302
    Lorenzo de Medici
      Pericles of Italian Renaissance, 181, 182
      Sculptors at his court, 182, 185, 187, 188
      Medici tombs, 192
    Lorenzo of Urbino, 192
      Tomb in Medici Chapel, 192-197
      Statue by Michael Angelo, 195
    Louis XI., 225
    Louis XII., 227, 228
      Tomb of Jean Juste, 225-226

    Louis XIV.
      Political circumstances under, 233, 234
      Necessity for extreme centralisation, 233, 234
      Building of Versailles, 234, 236, 240
      Gardens of Versailles, 238, 239
      Pierre Puget and, 236, 237
      Marquise de Montespan and, 232, 233
    Louis XV.
      Popularity of single figures and statuettes, 240
      Pigalle and, 241, 242
    Louvre
      Works in, 106, 236, 242, 244, 254, 266, 267
      Preferred by Colbert to Versailles, 235, 236
      Dalou, curator of, 272
    Lovelace, 257
    Luca della Robbia
      Singing Gallery (Cantoria), 178, 179
      “Visitation” at Pistoja, 179
      Humanity of his religion, 179
      Comparison with Donatello, 179
      Relation to Michael Angelo, 184
    Lucca, 154
    Lucian, 36, 79
    Ludovisi Villa, 89-90
    Leubke, Dr., and “Ares Ludovisi,” 72
    Luther, 224
    Luxembourg, works in, 270, 272, 273
      Value to French sculpture, 280, 281
    Lycæan Gymnasium, Athens, 67
    Lycurgus (The Athenian), 66, 67
    Lysimachus, 86, 90
    Lysippus, 65-80
      Historical circumstances of his age, 66-68
      Effect on sculpture, 68, 69
      “Apoxyomenus,” 68-75
      Characteristics of his style, 68, 70-75
      Portraiture of, 77-80
      Portrait of Alexander, 78, 79
      “Ares Ludovisi,” 72
      “Agias,” 73, 74
      “Cerigotto Bronze,” 103
      Hercules, type fixed by, 101
      His preference for bronze, 68
      Followers of, 79, 84, 100, 104, 120
    Lysistratus of Sicyon, 79

    Macedonia. _See_ Alexander
    MacDowell, Patrick, 281, 284
    “Madonna,” by Ugolino, 171
    “Madonna della Guardia,” 10
    Mæcenas, 125
    Malatesta, Signor, 163
    Magliabecchian Library, 162
    Maison Carré at Nîmes, 137
    Mantegna, 184
    Mantinea, Battle of, 66
    Mantua, 174, 175, 181
    Marathon, 26, 28
    Marble
      Copies of bronze originals, 24, 68, 90, 105, 120
      Pentelic, 29
      Praxiteles’ use of, 58
      Bronze preferred by Polyclitus and Lysippus, 68
      In “Dying Gaul,” 90
    Marcus Aurelius, 139
    “Mark, St.,” by Donatello, 172
    Maria della Vittoria, St., 216, 217
    Marius, 124
    “Marseillaise,” by Rude. _See_ Chant du Départ
    Marshall, W. Calder, 284
    “Maternity,” by Dalou, 299
    Matilda, 153
    “Matthew St.,” by Ghiberti, 172
    Mausoleum
      Of Halicarnassus, 48, 49
      “Charioteer,” 50, 74
    Mausolus, statue of, 50
    Maximilian, tomb of, 223-224, 298
    Mazarin, 234
    Mazzini on Italian liberty and art, 200, 201, 218
    Medici Family
      Donatello and, 173
      Relation to Florentine art, 181, 182
      Medici Chapel, 189, 191-197
      Michael Angelo and, 187, 188, 191, 192
      The Papacy and, 191, 192
      In sixteenth century, 199
      Patron of Cellini, 205
      Catherine of Medici, 225
    “Meleager,” 71, 72
    Melos, 42, 112
    Menelaus, 122
    “Menelaus and Patroclus,” 53, 75
    Mengs, Raphael, 246
    “Mercury,” by Pigalle, 242
    “Mercury inventing the Caduceus,” by Idrac, 270
    Metal additions in statuary, 29, 76
    Metopes, Parthenon, 29, 30
    Meunier, 292, 293
    Michel, Claude François. _See_ Clodion
    “Michael and Satan,” by Flaxman, 261
    Michael Angelo, 183-197
      Laocoon group, opinion upon, 94
      Donatello’s “St. Mark,” opinion of, 172
      Apotheosis of Italian sculpture compared with Shakespeare
          and Phidias, 161, 183
      Historical circumstances of, 181, 182, 194, 196, 197
      Why worked early sixteenth century, 161, 180-184
      Early life, 184
      Court of Lorenzo de Medici, 185
      “David,” 185-188
      “Pieta,” 188, 189
      Work for Papacy, 190, 218, 247, 250
      Tomb of Julius II., 189-191
      Medici Tombs, 191-197
      Artistic philosophy of, 192, 193
      Preference for male form, 193, 194
      Savonarola, influence of, 196
      Correggio, comparison with, 195
      Cellini and Bologna, comparisons with, 203, 210, 211, 212, 218
      Rodin’s impressionism compared with Angelo’s method, 278
      Alfred Stevens and, 286
    Milan, 153, 160, 181, 201, 228
    “Milo of Crotona,” by Puget, 236
    Milton, 256
    Mithridates, 119, 124
    Mona Fiore da Castel del Rio, 206
    Monciatto, Francesco, 187
    Moneychangers, Guild of, Florence, 171
    Montefeltro, 181
    Montespan, Marquise de, 232, 233
    Montesquieu, 232
    Moody, the decorator, 286
    Moricière, General de la, 270
    “Moses,” from Tomb of Julius II., 190, 191
    “Mower,” by Meunier, 292, 293
    “Mower,” by Thornycroft, 291, 292, 293
    Mullins, Roscoe, 288
    Murray, Dr., 122
    Museo di Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, 179
    Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 275
    Music, 149, 217, 223
    Mycenæan age, preface, 7, 9
    Myron, 31, 36
      “Discobolus” 15, 20-22, 23-24
    “Mysteriarch,” by Frampton, 301

    Nantes, Cathedral of, 270
    Naples, 160
      National Museum, 12, 14, 97, 129, 173
    Napoleon, 250, 251, 254, 264
      Colossal statue by Canova, 250
    “Narcissus” at Naples Museum, 173
    National Assembly, 253
    National Gallery, London, 187, 281
    Nationalism, preface
      Definition of, 302, 303
      In Greece and N. Italy. _See under_ City-state system
      In seventeenth-century France, 226, 227, 234
      Of to-day, compared with Hellenic, 245, 281
    Naturalism
      Growth in Greece, 11-14
      Absence in Byzantine Art, 140
      Growth in Italy, 155-158
      Influence of Francis of Assisi, 156, 157
      In modern French sculpture, 265-267
      In modern English sculpture, 285-288
    Naxos, 12
    “Neapolitan Fisher Boy,” by Rude, 254
      By Carpeaux, 267
    “Necropole Royale de Sidon,” 76
    Neo-classical Revival, 246-252
    Nerva, 131, 132
      Comparison with “Augustus” and “Antinous,” 131, 138
      Sculptor of, comparison with Kipling, 134, 135
    Nesiotes, 14
    Netherlands, 145
    Nicea, decree of Council at, 141
    Nicholas V., 190
    Nicias, painter of Praxiteles’ statuary, 62
    Nietzsche upon Greek art, 15
    “Night,” by Michael Angelo, 193-197, 278
    Nightingale Monument, by Roubilliac, 257
    “Nile,” statue of, 97, 98
    Nîmes, Maison Carré at, 137
    Niobe Group, 51-53
      Authorship doubtful, 51, 75
      Historical circumstances of, 46-49, 195
      Copies of Greek originals, 51
      Compared with Pergamene and Rhodian art, 52, 97
    Noailles, Hotel de, 235
    Nollekens, 284
    Normandy, 145
    Northern Europe, Mysticism of, 221-223
      Effect on sculpture, 222-223
    Nôtre Dame, 148

    Olympia, 57, 119
    Olympian Games. _See_ Athletic Statues
    Opera del Duomo, Florence, 187
    Opera House, Paris, 268
    Orcagna, 170, 171
    “Orestes and Electra,” 122
    “Orpheus,” by Swan, 301
    Or San Michele, 168-173, 179, 180, 199
    “Outram, Sir James,” statue by Foley, 285

    Padua, 175
    “Paetus and Arria,” 89
    Painting, influence on Renaissance sculpture, 157, 161, 167
    Pajou, 257
    Palgrave, F. T., 283, 284
    Palazzo Vecchio, 187
    Pan-Athenaic procession on Parthenon frieze, 30
    Panathenaic Stadion, Athens, 67
    Pan-Hellenic League, 27
    Pantheon, Paris, 276
    “Pandora,” by Bates, 300
    Paola and Francesca, 275
    Papacy. _See_ Catholic Church
    Paris, 254, 289
    Park (sculptor), 284
    Paros, 12
    Parthenon, 28-33
      Gothic Cathedral compared, 147-149
      Statuary on, 29-31, 150-151
    Parthian War, 133, 137
    Parma, 195
    Pasiteles, school of, 121-123
    Pater, Walter, 80, 96, 126
    Pauline Borghese, Statue by Canova, 249-250
    Pausanias, 120
      “Zeus,” by Phidias, 37, 38
      “Hermes” of Praxiteles, 57
      Scopas and Temple of Athena at Tegea, 72
      Library of Hadrian, 137
    Paul III., 213
    Pavilion de Flora, Paris, 267
    Peloponnesian War, 114
    Pentathlon, 20, 24
    “Pentathlon Winner” of Alcamenes, 23
    Pentelicus, Marble Quarries, 29
    Pergamus, Kingdom of, 88-93
      Gaulish invasion, 90, 91, 107
      Effect on sculpture, 88-92
      “Dying Gaul,” 88-92
      Altar of Zeus, 91-93
      Loss of emotional balance, 92, 93
      Absence of great masters, 100
      Comparison with Hellenistic Greece, 100
      Willed by Attalus III. to Rome, 116
    Pericles, 26
      Characterised, 77
      Statue by Cresilas, 77-79, 126, 127
      Creator of Parthenon, 32
      His political purpose, 32, 33, 46
      Compared with Lorenzo de Medici, 181, 182
    “Perixyomenus” of Diappus, 74
    “Perseus and Andromeda,” by Puget, 236
    “Perseus,” by Cellini, 205-210
    Persia, 26-28, 84, 91, 106
    Perugino, 179
    Pharsalia, 124
    Phidias, 84, 161
      Argive School, connection with, 23
      Early life, 28
      Parthenon, 28-32
        Athena, statue of, 28, 29
        Pedimental groups, 29, 30, 31
        Frieze, 29, 30, 31
        Metopes, 29, 30
      Zeus, chryselephantine statue of, 36-38, 41
      Death at Elis, 31
      Praxiteles, compared with, 64, 114, 195
      Gothic sculptors, compared with, 151
      Giotto, compared with, 157
      Rodin and, 279
    Philetairus, 90
    Philip of Macedon, 66
    Philippe, Louis, 255
    Philosophy, Hellenic, 39, 40, 221-223
    Phocion, 67
      Statue of, 77, 78
      “Augustus,” compared with, 127
      “St. Mark,” by Donatello, compared with, 173
    Phryne, 59-61
      “Eros” of Praxiteles and, 60, 61
      “Aphrodite of Cnidus” and, 61-63
      French courtesans compared with, 232, 233
      Pauline Borghese compared with, 249, 250
    Piero di Cosimo, 187
    “Pieta” of Michael Angelo, 188-189
    Pigalle, Jean Baptiste, 241
      Tomb of Marshal de Saxe, 241-242
      “Mercury,” in Louvre, 242
    Pilon, Germain, 225, 226, 227
    Pisa, 153, 154-158
      Second crusade, 154
      Growth of prosperity, 154
      Really an aristocracy, 154, 169
      Sculpture, eclectic character of, 155, 156, 174
      Captured by Florence, 169
      Fifteenth-century Italian sculpture compared with, 177, 178
    Pisano, Niccola
      Architect, 155
      Græco-Roman influences, 155, 156
      Gothic sculpture compared, 155
      Quercia compared with, 178
    Giovanni, compared with Niccola, 156, 157
      Gothic influences, 156
    Andrea, compared with Niccola, 157, 158
      Giotto, influence of, 157
      Pictorial character of work, 158
      Florentine Baptistery, 158, 162, 164
    Pisistratus, 12, 13, 154
    Pius IV., 213
    Platonists, Italian influence of, 173-179
    Plessis, Hotel du, 235
    Pliny, 73, 120
      Lysippus and followers, 70, 74, 79
      Hellenistic realists, 103
      Rhodian Colossus, 104
      Pasiteles, 121, 122
    Plutarch, 78
    Poetry, 217, 223
    Pollaiuolo, 184
    Polyclitus
      Head of Dorian school, 22, 23
      Compared with Phidias, 31
      Compared with Praxiteles, 64
      Compared with Lysippus, 68, 69
      “Hera,” chryselephantine statue of, 36, 38, 41, 42, 157
      “Diadumenus,” 22
      “Doryphorus,” 22, 23
      Preference for bronze, 22, 68
    Polydorus, 94
    Polygnotus, 114
    Polyzalus, 14
    Pomeroy, F. W., 288
    Pompadour, Madame de, 243
    Pompeii, evidence of wall paintings as to colouring statuary, 129
      “Narcissus,” found at, 173
    Pope’s “Rape of the Lock,” 114
    Porte de l’Enfer. _See_ “Gate of Hell,” by Rodin
    Portraiture
      Greek, 77-79
        Fifth century compared with fourth and Hellenistic, 77-79
        Hellenic compared with Roman, 125, 127, 131, 132
      Roman, 125-136
        “Julius Cæsar” and “Augustus” compared with “Pericles”
            and “Phocion,” 125-127
        Imperialism and Roman, 131-136, 140
        Comparison with style of Kipling, 134, 135
        “Nerva,” statue of, 131, 132, 135
      “Voltaire,” by Houdon, 244, 245
    Poseidon and Athena on Parthenon pediment, 29, 31
    Poussin, Nicolas, 240
    Pradier, 265
    Praxiteles
      Historical circumstances, 44-49
      Social circumstances, 55, 56, 58, 59
      Characteristics of his art, 57, 61, 63, 64, 211
      Lyrical note in art of, 54
      Influence of Greek womanhood, 58-60, 110, 111
      Phryne and, 60-63, 232, 249
      Female form, preference for, 193, 194
      Marble, preference for, 58
      “Hermes,” 57, 107, 120
      “Hermaphroditus,” 194
      “Aphrodite of Cnidus,” 61-63, 111, 195
      “Barberine Hera,” 42
      Ceramicus, statue in, 55
      Lysippus, compared with, 65, 66
      Michael Angelo, compared with, 193-195
      Followers of, 84, 105-115
    Primaticcio, 228, 229, 257
    “Prince,” Terme Museum, 121
    Prince Consort, 284
    Prix de Rome, Grand, 244, 254, 267, 269
    Propylæa, 77
    Ptolemy, 86
    Puget, Pierre
      His early life, 237, 251
      Visit to Italy, 237
      Connection with Louis XIV., 236
      Influenced by Catholic reaction, 237
      “Milo of Crotona,” 236
      “Perseus and Andromeda,” 236
      “Immaculate Conception,” 237
      Introducer of “morbidezza,” 237
    Pythis, 50

    Quercia, Jacopo della
      Competes for Baptistery gates commission, 163, 169
      Compared with the Pisani, 177
      Tomb of Ilaria del Carretto by, 178, 226
    Quincey, De, 115

    Rambouillet, Madame de, 232
    “Rape of Proserpine,” by Girardon, 211
    Raphael 184, 228, 250, 261
    Rasbourg, Van, 273
    Ravenna, basilicas of, 145
    Realism
      In art of Lysippus, 65-80
      In Hellenistic art, 101-104
      In Roman portraiture, 131, 135
      Modern French realists, 272
    Reformation, 213, 224
    Religion
      Greek, 16, 34, 35, 36, 39, 222, 223
        Early images, 8-11, 18, 19
        Religious statuary in Fifth Century, 28, 29, 33-43
        Compared with Gothic, 148, 152
        Sense of, dulled in Fourth Century, 63
        Effect on sculpture, 41, 42, 57, 63
      Christianity, influence of, 43, 140, 141
      Gothic, 145-154, 222, 223
        Effect on sculpture, 149-152
      Italian, 153, 157, 179, 196, 202
      Reformation, effects of, 213, 224
      Catholic reaction, effects of, 212-218, 237
    Rembrandt, 222, 261
    Revolution, French, 253, 264
    Reynolds, Sir J., 256, 262
    Rheims, 148
    Robbia, The della. _See_ Luca della Robbia
    Rhodes, 93-97, 100
      Compared with Hellenistic Greece, 100
      Influence upon Rome, 120
      “Laocoon group,” 93-97
      “Farnese Bull,” 97
      “Colossus” at, 104
    Richelieu, Cardinal, 234
    Richmond, Charles Duke of, 260
    Robespierre, 256
    Rochester, 46, 257
    Rodin
      Early life, 272
      Fails to enter École des Beaux Arts, 271
      Pupil of Barye, 266, 272, 273
      “Age of Brass,” 273, 275
      “St. John the Baptist,” 273, 277
      “The Kiss,” 275-276
      “The Thinker,” 276
      “Danaid,” 274
      “Gate of Hell” (Porte de l’Enfer), 274-276
      Attitude towards human form, 277
      Impressionism compared with Rosso’s, 278, 279
      Philosophy based on Dante and Baudelaire, 275
      Sympathy with Gothic ideal, 279
      Compared with English sculptors, 290-291
      Influence upon Meunier, 292
    Roman Catholic Church. _See_ Catholic Church
    Romantic movement, 264
      Effect on sculpture, 265, 266
    Rome
      Conquest of Greece, Syria, Egypt, 116
      Republican age, 117-125
        Culture borrowed from Greece, 118-121
      School of Pasiteles, 121-123
      Imperialism, rise of, 124-131
        Augustan age, 129, 130
        Climax under Trajan, 131-136
        Effect on sculpture, 131, 136
        Portraiture, 125-127, 131-136, 140
      Reaction under Hadrian, 136-138
        Reversion to Greek models, 137, 138
      Post-Hadrian sculpture, 138, 139
      Germanic invasion, 139, 140, 146
      Christianity, influence of, 140, 141
      Pisani, influence of Roman art upon, 155
      Michael Angelo in, 190, 191
      Sack of, 198, 199, 204
      Morality, decline of in sixteenth century, 196, 201, 202
        Effect on sculpture, 202, 203
      Catholic Reaction, 212, 218
        Historical circumstances, 212-214
        Ideals of, 215, 216
        Effect on sculpture, 214, 218
      Austrian ascendency, 200, 218
      Neo-classical revival, 247, 251, 252, 261
    Romney, 232
    Roselli, Cosimo, 187
    Rosso, Il (painter), 205, 228, 229
    Rosso (sculptor), 278, 279
    Roubilliac, 257
    Rouen, 230
    “Rowland Hill,” by Onslow Ford, 299
    Royal Exchange, 299
    Rude, François, 253-256
      Early life, 254
      École des Beaux Arts, and 254
      French sculpture, after, 265
      “Neapolitan Fisher Boy,” by, 254
      “Chant du Départ,” 255, 267
      Master of Carpeaux, 267
    Rue de l’Université, Paris, 275

    “Sabine Women,” by David, 253
    “Sacrifice of Isaac,” by Brunelleschi and by Ghiberti, 163
    Saida (Sidon), 76
    Salamis, 26, 28
    Salisbury Cathedral, 148
    Salon, 265, 273, 274
    Salon of Venus at Versailles, 239
    Salvestro, the jeweller, 187
    Samos, 77
    Sandwich, fourth Earl of, 259
    San Gallo, Giuliano di, 187
    Santa Sophia, 145
    “Sarcophagus of Alexander,” 76
    Sarcophagi, Roman Pisa, 155
    Sarto, Andrea del, 257
    “Satyr and Nymph,” by Clodion, 243
    “Satyr with Flute,” by Clodion, 243
    Savonarola, 195-196
    Saxe, Marshal de, tomb by Pigalle, 241
    Schubart, Baron de, 251
    Science, growth of, in fifth-century Greece, 39-41
    Scholasticism, 165
    Scopas, 42, 44
      Historical circumstances, 45-49
      Growth of individualism, 53-56
      Passionate note in his art, 53, 64, 75, 101
      Athenian by adoption, 48
      Temple of Athena at Tegea, 48, 72, 73
      Mausoleum, 49-51
      “Menelaus and Patroclus,” 53, 75
      “Niobe,” 51-53, 75, 195
      “Ares Ludovisi,” 71, 72, 74
      “Meleager,” 72-74
      “Venus of Milo,” 113
    Scotland, 213, 258
    Scott, Sir Gilbert, 284
    Scott, Sir W., 266
    Sculpture and Sculptors
      Prehistoric, 6
      Birth of the art, 7-11
      Limitations compared with painting and poetry, 167, 197, 222, 223
      Impressionism in, 278, 279
      Sculptors’ dependence upon human form, 16, 17, 18, 69, 152, 164,
                                    165, 172, 193, 194, 215, 216, 277
      Sculptor’s relation to his age, 4, 302, 303
    Settignano quarries, 184
    Seleucia in Pieria, 87
    Seleucus, Empire of, 83, 86-88, 116
    Seleucus Nicator, 86
    “Seated Boxer,” Terme Museum, 121
    Sepulchral statuary
      Greek legislation against, 54, 55
      Ceramicus at Athens, 54, 55
      Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, 49-51
      “Sarcophagus of Alexander,” 76
      Roman sarcophagi at Pisa, 155
      Tomb of Ilaria del Carretto, 178
      Tomb of Julius II., 190, 191
      Medici tombs, 191-197
      Tomb of Maximilian, 223, 224
      Tombs at St. Denis, royal, 225, 226
      Tomb of Marshal de Saxe, 241
      Duke of Clarence Memorial, 297, 298
    Sforza, family of, 181
    Shelley, 264
    Shakespeare, 46, 114, 183, 256
    Shaftesbury Memorial, by A. Gilbert, 295, 296
    Sicyon, 79, 87, 108
    Signorelli, 179
    Siena, 160, 163, 171, 178
    Silk Merchants’ Guild of Florence, 171
    Simonetta, La Bella, 232
    Sistine Chapel, 191
    Skeuotheke of Philo, 66
    Society of Dilettanti, 8, 260
    Socrates, 210
    Sophocles, 114
      Statue of, 77, 78, 173
    Soranzo, Giacomo, 201
    Sosthenes, 106
    South Kensington School of Art, 272, 288
    Spain, 213
    Sparks (Lambeth School of Art), 288
    Sparta
      Insistence upon physical fitness, 17-19
      Patronise Olympian games, 20
      Argive school, relationship with, 22-24
      Spartan supremacy, age of, 46, 48
      Imitated in revolutionary France, 253
      “Spartan Girl,” 17, 122
    “Spring,” by Botticelli, 196
    St. Angelo, Castle of, 204, 205
    St. Denis, royal tombs at, 225, 226
    St. Maclou, 230
    St. Paul’s Cathedral, 285
    St. Peter’s, Rome, 190, 214
    Statuettes, modern, 299
    “Stephen, St.,” by Ghiberti, 172
    Stevens, Alfred
      Visit to Italy, 285
      Decorative designer, 286
      Fireplace at Dorchester House, 286
      Michael Angelo, indebtedness to, 286
      Wellington Memorial, 285, 286, 291, 295
      “Baptist of English Naturalism,” 286, 287
    Stone, Nicholas, 257
    Stroganoff, Count Sargei, bronze statuette of, 106
    Strozzi, epigram on Angelo’s “Night,” 197
    Sully, 234
    Swan, J. M., 290, 301
    Sykes, Godfrey, 286
    Symonds, J. A., 196, 277
    Syracuse, 14, 47, 119
    Syria. _See also_ Seleucus, empire of, 84, 124

    Tate Gallery, 282, 284, 287, 288, 290, 300
    Taygetus, Mount, 18
    Tegea, Temple of Athena Alea at, 48, 72
    Temple Statuary. _See_ under Religion
    Terme Museum, Rome, 115, 121
    Terra-cotta, 179
    Theban supremacy, 46, 48, 66
    Theed, “Africa,” in Albert Memorial, 285
    Theodora, Empress, decree regarding sculpture, 141
    Theresa, Saint, 216, 217
      Statue, by Bernini, 216, 217
    “Theseus,” from Parthenon, 31, 248
    Thespiae, “Eros” of, 61
    Thetis, Temple of, 238
    “Thetis and Achilles,” by Banks, 284
    “Thinker,” by Rodin, 276
    Thomson, James, 95, 105
    Thornycroft, the elder, 285, 291
    Thornycroft, W. Hamo, 290-293
      Defeats Gilbert for Academy Gold Medal, 291
      “Warrior bearing Wounded Son from Battle,” 291
      “Mower,” 291-293
    Thorvaldsen
      A borrowed Hellenism, 174, 247, 254, 262, 281
      Early life, 251
      Visit to Rome, 247, 251, 261
      Compared with Flaxman, 261, 262
      “Jason,” 251
      “Cupid and Psyche,” 251
      “Venus,” 252, 284
    Thrasymedes of Paros, 42
    “Three Fates” from Parthenon, 31, 261
    Throne Room at Versailles, 239
    “Tiber,” 98
    “Tinted Venus,” by Gibson, 282, 284
    Titian, 184
    Titus, Baths of, 94
    Tomb of Francis II. of Brittany, by Colombe, 225
    Torrigiano, 256, 257
    Toto, Antonio, 257
    Tours, school of, 225
    Trajan, 132, 133, 137
    Transtevere, Vicolo delle Palme in, 68
    Trent, Council of, 202
    “Triumph of Athena” from Pergamus, 92
    “Triumph of Silenus,” by Dalou, 272
    “Truth tearing out Tongue of Falsehood,” by Stevens, 286
    Tuileries, palace of, 267
    Turner (painter), 264, 266, 277
    Turquet, M., 273
    “Tyche of Antioch,” 87, 96

    Uccello, 164
    “Ugolino and his Sons,” by Carpeaux, 267
    Urban VIII., 214
    Urbino, 181

    Vasari, 173
    Vatican, works at, 24, 51, 62, 68, 71, 87, 89, 97, 105,
                      122, 125, 131, 138, 190, 191
    Venice, 160, 200, 251
    Venus. _See also_ Aphrodite
      Of Capua, 113
      Of Medici, 112, 261
      Of Milo, 71, 112, 113
      By Thorvaldsen, 252
      In mid-Victorian times, 284
    Verocchio, Andrea del, 179-180, 184
      “Doubting Thomas,” by, 179-180
      Colleoni monument, by Leopardi and, 180
    Versailles, palace of, 234-240
      Historical necessity for, 234, 235
      Palaces of nobility at, 235
      Preferred by Louis to Louvre, 235, 236
      Sculpture at, 211, 237-239
    Victoria Memorial, 290, 294
    Villevieille, Marquis de, 244, 245
    Vinci, Leonardo da, 184, 187
    Virgil, 94, 95, 125, 129, 175
    Virgin, Michael Angelo upon the, 188-189
    Vischer, Peter, 223, 225, 297, 298
      Maximilian Tomb, 223, 224, 226
      Age of reformation, 224, 297
    Visconti, family of, 181
    Vittorino of Feltre, 174-175
    “Voltaire,” by Houdon, 244-245

    Waldstein, Dr. and “Ares Ludovisi,” 72
    Walker Art Gallery, 291
    Wallace Collection, 243
    Walpole, Sir Robert, 258
    Walpole, Horace, 259
    “Warrior bearing Wounded Son from Battle,” by Hamo Thornycroft, 291
    Watteau, 240, 242
    Watts, G. F., 165
      “Clytie,” 287
    Watson (sculptor), 284
    Watson, William, 149
    Wedgwood, 261
    Wellington Memorial, by Stevens, 285, 286
    Westmacott, 281, 284
    Westminster Abbey, 257, 284
    Westphalia, Peace of, 234
    Whistler, 291
    Wickhoff, on Roman portraiture, 131
    “Wilberforce,” by Joseph, 284
    Wilton, 260
    Winckelmann, 246, 248, 255, 260, 261, 281
    Windsor, Clarence Memorial at, 297-299
    Wolsey, Cardinal, 256
    Wolsey Chapel, Windsor, 297
    Women
      Physical training of Greek, 17
      Position in fifth century B.C., 58, 59
        Effect upon sculpture, 17, 42, 58, 111
      During fourth century, B.C., 60, 61
        Effect upon sculpture, 60, 64, 111, 233, 249, 250
      During Hellenistic age, 110-111
        Effect upon sculpture, 111-113
      During French monarchy, 230-232
        Influence upon sculptors, 233, 241-243
      Pauline Borghese and Canova, 249, 250
    Wood, Early Temple statues in Greece, 8, 9
    Wool Merchants Guild of Florence, 172
    Woolner, 284
    Wordsworth, 157
    Wren, Sir C., 256
    Wyatt, 281, 284

    Zethus, 97
    Zeus, 33-36
      On Parthenon pediment and frieze, 29-31
      Chryselephantine statue, by Phidias, 36-43
      Otricoli, 41, 42
      Altar of, at Pergamus, 91-93, 112, 130

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