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  The Van Eycks and Their FollowersAuthor(s): Max J. FriedländerSource: The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, Vol. 41, No. 232 (Jul., 1922), pp. 17-18Published by: The Burlington Magazine Publications Ltd. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/861444 . Accessed: 09/10/2014 21:18 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at  . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp  . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.  . The Burlington Magazine Publications Ltd.  is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend accessto The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs. http://www.jstor.org This content downloaded from 143.107.252.93 on Thu, 9 Oct 2014 21:18:08 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions  dashed down on a single canvas. Be this as it may, the outstanding interest of the sketch lies in the fact that it presumably embodies a com- position which occurred to Hogarth as pic- turesque and dramatic on purely artistic grounds, and was utilised by him, with serious modifications it is true, in two of his most cele- brated pictures. As the painting is somewhat formless and confused, and its masterly tone and brushwork are naturally not made the most of in a repro- duction, it may be permissible to explain that the principal figure in the group on the left is that of a young woman reclining in a chair. She is stripped to the waist and bleeds from a wound in her right breast, which is being dressed by a surgeon. Leaning on the back of her chair is a person overcome by distress. In front of the girl stands a man bending eagerly forward and holding her left hand, and behind him is a little girl who seems to appeal to be allowed to share in the attentions required by the sufferer. The group on the right contains several of the same elements in a changed and more indistinct form; here again is a fainting or dying woman surrounded by agitated specta- dashed down on a single canvas. Be this as it may, the outstanding interest of the sketch lies in the fact that it presumably embodies a com- position which occurred to Hogarth as pic- turesque and dramatic on purely artistic grounds, and was utilised by him, with serious modifications it is true, in two of his most cele- brated pictures. As the painting is somewhat formless and confused, and its masterly tone and brushwork are naturally not made the most of in a repro- duction, it may be permissible to explain that the principal figure in the group on the left is that of a young woman reclining in a chair. She is stripped to the waist and bleeds from a wound in her right breast, which is being dressed by a surgeon. Leaning on the back of her chair is a person overcome by distress. In front of the girl stands a man bending eagerly forward and holding her left hand, and behind him is a little girl who seems to appeal to be allowed to share in the attentions required by the sufferer. The group on the right contains several of the same elements in a changed and more indistinct form; here again is a fainting or dying woman surrounded by agitated specta- THE VAN EYCKS HE VAN EYCKS AND THEI] ND THEI] tors. In both we seem to have the actors in episodes in the Prison scene (No. 7) of the Rake's Progress and in the Suicide of the Countess, the closing subject of Marriage a la mode. But if into the significance of the figures we read the dying girl, the avaricious alderman drawing the ring from her finger, the weeping nurse and the child, here more fully grown than in the Suicide picture, their actual appearance presents in many respects closer parallels with the group of the long-forsaken mistress swoon- ing on recognising her faithless lover in the prison. The attitude of the girl and the dis- array of her garments are similar; the child, of much the same age, although closer to her mother in the picture, is in the same attitude; and while the supporting figures are different, and the old woman slapping the girl's hand takes the place of the man, the general composi- tion is, although reversed in direction, very similar. In any case, the sketch, like the more beautiful and elaborate painting belonging to Sir Robert Witt, shows that Hogarth's proce- dure in composing his subjects was not alto- gether as spontaneous and direct, as his early critics appear to have believed. R FOLLOWERS tors. In both we seem to have the actors in episodes in the Prison scene (No. 7) of the Rake's Progress and in the Suicide of the Countess, the closing subject of Marriage a la mode. But if into the significance of the figures we read the dying girl, the avaricious alderman drawing the ring from her finger, the weeping nurse and the child, here more fully grown than in the Suicide picture, their actual appearance presents in many respects closer parallels with the group of the long-forsaken mistress swoon- ing on recognising her faithless lover in the prison. The attitude of the girl and the dis- array of her garments are similar; the child, of much the same age, although closer to her mother in the picture, is in the same attitude; and while the supporting figures are different, and the old woman slapping the girl's hand takes the place of the man, the general composi- tion is, although reversed in direction, very similar. In any case, the sketch, like the more beautiful and elaborate painting belonging to Sir Robert Witt, shows that Hogarth's proce- dure in composing his subjects was not alto- gether as spontaneous and direct, as his early critics appear to have believed. R FOLLOWERS BY MAX J. FRIEDLANDER INCE the publication of Crowe and Cavalcaselle's Early Flemish Painters nobody had had the courage to attempt a comprehen- sive account of early Netherlandish painting. The book in question, which is the joint production of an Italian painter and an English writer, remained for a long time the standard work, as no real substitute for it ap- peared. First issued in London in I857, it appeared in a second English edition in I872. A French translation was published at Brussels in 1862-65, supplied with notes by Pinchart, which to this day are of value. A German trans- lation, revised by Anton Springer, appeared in T875 at Leipzig. The book continued to be ex- ceptionally widely read and highly regarded even at a time when its contents offered an almost comical contrast to the achievements of art his- tory. Sir Martin Conway's book* disposes at last of this wholly antiquated work. When we compare the new book with the old, we can on all points observe considerable progress, which is due less to documentary research than to criticism of style. Both as regards the number of artistic personalities, now made clear, and as regards the number of works within our ken, * The Van Eycks and their Followers. By Sir Martin Conway, M.P. 528 pp. + 24 pl. (London: John Murray.) 62 2S. BY MAX J. FRIEDLANDER INCE the publication of Crowe and Cavalcaselle's Early Flemish Painters nobody had had the courage to attempt a comprehen- sive account of early Netherlandish painting. The book in question, which is the joint production of an Italian painter and an English writer, remained for a long time the standard work, as no real substitute for it ap- peared. First issued in London in I857, it appeared in a second English edition in I872. A French translation was published at Brussels in 1862-65, supplied with notes by Pinchart, which to this day are of value. A German trans- lation, revised by Anton Springer, appeared in T875 at Leipzig. The book continued to be ex- ceptionally widely read and highly regarded even at a time when its contents offered an almost comical contrast to the achievements of art his- tory. Sir Martin Conway's book* disposes at last of this wholly antiquated work. When we compare the new book with the old, we can on all points observe considerable progress, which is due less to documentary research than to criticism of style. Both as regards the number of artistic personalities, now made clear, and as regards the number of works within our ken, * The Van Eycks and their Followers. By Sir Martin Conway, M.P. 528 pp. + 24 pl. (London: John Murray.) 62 2S. an immense increase of knowledge has taken place. As regards the chronological limits, Sir Mar- tin's book extends farther than that of Crowe and Cavalcaselle, and farther than even the title suggests. The expression followers is to be understood in its widest sense. Evidently this title has been chosen from a conviction that the whole of the purely Netherlandish, auto- chthonous and national, art is directly or in- directly dependent on the Van Eycks, and springs from them: a view which, to the greater glory of the founders and srcinators, is pointedly expressed in the title of the book. Ac- cordingly, of the painters whose careers begin about 1550, only Pieter Bruegel is taken into account, and effectively placed at the end. Painters, like Frans Floris and Lambert Lom- bard, who were working in the Netherlands at about the same time as Pieter Bruegel, are passed over, for no other reason than because their italianizing tendencies forbid to regard them as followers of the Van Eycks, how- ever much you may stretch this concept. Crowe and Cavalcaselle still confined them- selves to the fifteenth century. Sir Martin Conway puts the line of demarkation much later, and does not shrink back from the multi- tude of painters working between I5oo and 1550 an immense increase of knowledge has taken place. As regards the chronological limits, Sir Mar- tin's book extends farther than that of Crowe and Cavalcaselle, and farther than even the title suggests. The expression followers is to be understood in its widest sense. Evidently this title has been chosen from a conviction that the whole of the purely Netherlandish, auto- chthonous and national, art is directly or in- directly dependent on the Van Eycks, and springs from them: a view which, to the greater glory of the founders and srcinators, is pointedly expressed in the title of the book. Ac- cordingly, of the painters whose careers begin about 1550, only Pieter Bruegel is taken into account, and effectively placed at the end. Painters, like Frans Floris and Lambert Lom- bard, who were working in the Netherlands at about the same time as Pieter Bruegel, are passed over, for no other reason than because their italianizing tendencies forbid to regard them as followers of the Van Eycks, how- ever much you may stretch this concept. Crowe and Cavalcaselle still confined them- selves to the fifteenth century. Sir Martin Conway puts the line of demarkation much later, and does not shrink back from the multi- tude of painters working between I5oo and 1550 '7 7 This content downloaded from 143.107.252.93 on Thu, 9 Oct 2014 21:18:08 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions  -not even from the chaos of the nameless and the jungle of the painters known as the Ant- werp Mannerists. Netherlandish painting is comparable to a tree, which rises from the ground big and simple, and then is split up in boughs and branches. The researches and discoveries of the last decade-which in 1902 received a powerful im- petus from the great Loan Exhibition at Bruges -are to be found in many Belgian, French, English and German periodicals, mostly in the forms of reviews of exhibitions, short notes, and ascriptions rapidly thrown off, reports and hypotheses. Only a few early Netherlandish masters have been dealt with in comprehensive monographs in book form. Sir Martin Conway has mastered the gigantic material of attribu- tions, suggestions and re-valuations, and has done this extraordinarily exacting work with- out pedantry, indeed with great temperamental freshness. Not only perseverance but also dis- crimination was necessary for such a perform- ance. More particularly the author's judgment shows itself in a negative form, that is, in that he has disposed of and left aside many mistakes; for intance, the errors of Durand Grdville and the sterile hyper-criticism of Carl Voll, which for a time had a checking and injurious effect in Germany. There is great clearness in the way in which the whole material is disposed and set forth in thirty-two chapters. First the author deals at praiseworthy length with the preparatory stage of the Van Eycks, the Netherlandish book-illu- mination; then follow several chapters on the Van Eycks; further, all the chief masters, like Roger, Memling, David, each in one chapter, while the lesser masters are lucidly treated of in small groups. The illustrations (twenty-four plates, each with four smaller but fairly clear ones) gives well-chosen examples, many of them unfamiliar and hitherto unpublished pictures. With the keenest interest do we read Sir Mar- tin Conway's considerations on the Van Eycks, in particular his reply to the burning question as to the relation between the brothers. The Ghent Altarpiece mentions in its celebrated in- scription both names, and that in a manner which attributes to the elder brother, Hubert, UNPUBLISHED CASSONE PA BY TANCRED BORENIUS S Df ~N Umbro-Sienese artist of some in- terest to the student of Cassone panels is Matteo Balducci. A few facts referring to his life were strung together already by Crowe and Cavalcaselle1; a contact with Pinturicchio, -not even from the chaos of the nameless and the jungle of the painters known as the Ant- werp Mannerists. Netherlandish painting is comparable to a tree, which rises from the ground big and simple, and then is split up in boughs and branches. The researches and discoveries of the last decade-which in 1902 received a powerful im- petus from the great Loan Exhibition at Bruges -are to be found in many Belgian, French, English and German periodicals, mostly in the forms of reviews of exhibitions, short notes, and ascriptions rapidly thrown off, reports and hypotheses. Only a few early Netherlandish masters have been dealt with in comprehensive monographs in book form. Sir Martin Conway has mastered the gigantic material of attribu- tions, suggestions and re-valuations, and has done this extraordinarily exacting work with- out pedantry, indeed with great temperamental freshness. Not only perseverance but also dis- crimination was necessary for such a perform- ance. More particularly the author's judgment shows itself in a negative form, that is, in that he has disposed of and left aside many mistakes; for intance, the errors of Durand Grdville and the sterile hyper-criticism of Carl Voll, which for a time had a checking and injurious effect in Germany. There is great clearness in the way in which the whole material is disposed and set forth in thirty-two chapters. First the author deals at praiseworthy length with the preparatory stage of the Van Eycks, the Netherlandish book-illu- mination; then follow several chapters on the Van Eycks; further, all the chief masters, like Roger, Memling, David, each in one chapter, while the lesser masters are lucidly treated of in small groups. The illustrations (twenty-four plates, each with four smaller but fairly clear ones) gives well-chosen examples, many of them unfamiliar and hitherto unpublished pictures. With the keenest interest do we read Sir Mar- tin Conway's considerations on the Van Eycks, in particular his reply to the burning question as to the relation between the brothers. The Ghent Altarpiece mentions in its celebrated in- scription both names, and that in a manner which attributes to the elder brother, Hubert, UNPUBLISHED CASSONE PA BY TANCRED BORENIUS S Df ~N Umbro-Sienese artist of some in- terest to the student of Cassone panels is Matteo Balducci. A few facts referring to his life were strung together already by Crowe and Cavalcaselle1; a contact with Pinturicchio, the main share in the Ghent Altarpiece, and in- directly also the main share in the revolutionary action which laid down the path which Nether- landish painting was to pursue. But against this, all other old sources make mention only of Jan, not Hubert, and we possess by Jan works authenticated by inscriptions, by Hubert, strictly speaking, nothing, as his share in the Ghent Altarpiece is by no means clearly and indisputably apprehended. Sir Martin Conway endeavours, like many other critics of late years, to put Hubert at the head of the evolution, in the sense of the Ghent inscription, and ascribes to him all pictures of Eyckian style, except for those which he, on account of their signatures, is obliged to leave to Jan. Even the Rollin Madonna in the Louvre passes from Jan to Hubert. This conception is in that sense not quite satisfactory, that the personalities of Hubert and Jan do not become clearly differentiated from one another. If Jan was a pupil and imitator of Hubert's, who owes everything to the elder brother, this uncertainty of the border line might be explicable. But if you look upon Jan as a genius, like his brother, then you are bound to expect that his individuality becomes definitely marked in contrast with his brother's. Sir Martin Conway seems to feel this difficulty. And this probably explains his tendency to be noticeably critical towards the authentic work of Jan. Every art historian who has devoted himself to early Netherlandish painting or to any section of this subject, will be able to trace omissions and mistakes in Sir Martin Conway's book. In view of the gigantic proportion of the material which has been mastered, it is inevitable that gaps and misunderstandings should occur. I should, however, on the present occasion prefer not to give a list of the points on which I am of a different opinion from him, because I do not wish to lessen the expression of grateful recog- nition and admiration of the performance as a whole. The book is like a report, a balance- sheet of what has been achieved, it marks the conclusion of a period of research, and from this I hope a new period of successful research may begin. NELS-IV which is evident from Balducci's art, is con- firmed by his appearance as a witness to a record of I509; in I517, he was apprenticed at Siena to Sodoma for six years, an influence of the latter's 1 Crowe and Cavalcaselle, History of Painting in Italy, 2nd ed. (Murray), vol. V, pp. 420-I. the main share in the Ghent Altarpiece, and in- directly also the main share in the revolutionary action which laid down the path which Nether- landish painting was to pursue. But against this, all other old sources make mention only of Jan, not Hubert, and we possess by Jan works authenticated by inscriptions, by Hubert, strictly speaking, nothing, as his share in the Ghent Altarpiece is by no means clearly and indisputably apprehended. Sir Martin Conway endeavours, like many other critics of late years, to put Hubert at the head of the evolution, in the sense of the Ghent inscription, and ascribes to him all pictures of Eyckian style, except for those which he, on account of their signatures, is obliged to leave to Jan. Even the Rollin Madonna in the Louvre passes from Jan to Hubert. This conception is in that sense not quite satisfactory, that the personalities of Hubert and Jan do not become clearly differentiated from one another. If Jan was a pupil and imitator of Hubert's, who owes everything to the elder brother, this uncertainty of the border line might be explicable. But if you look upon Jan as a genius, like his brother, then you are bound to expect that his individuality becomes definitely marked in contrast with his brother's. Sir Martin Conway seems to feel this difficulty. And this probably explains his tendency to be noticeably critical towards the authentic work of Jan. Every art historian who has devoted himself to early Netherlandish painting or to any section of this subject, will be able to trace omissions and mistakes in Sir Martin Conway's book. In view of the gigantic proportion of the material which has been mastered, it is inevitable that gaps and misunderstandings should occur. I should, however, on the present occasion prefer not to give a list of the points on which I am of a different opinion from him, because I do not wish to lessen the expression of grateful recog- nition and admiration of the performance as a whole. The book is like a report, a balance- sheet of what has been achieved, it marks the conclusion of a period of research, and from this I hope a new period of successful research may begin. NELS-IV which is evident from Balducci's art, is con- firmed by his appearance as a witness to a record of I509; in I517, he was apprenticed at Siena to Sodoma for six years, an influence of the latter's 1 Crowe and Cavalcaselle, History of Painting in Italy, 2nd ed. (Murray), vol. V, pp. 420-I. This content downloaded from 143.107.252.93 on Thu, 9 Oct 2014 21:18:08 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

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