Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/142

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of Adelaide. It is a prosperous and well-equipped port, from which enormous quantities of wheat are annually shipped. Pop. (1901), 7983.

PORTRAITURE. The earliest attempts at individual portraiture (see also PAINTING) are found in the eidolon and mummy-cases of the ancient Egyptians; but their painting never went beyond conventional representation-mere outlines filled in with a flat tint of colour. In Greece portraiture probably had its origin in skiagraphy or shadow-painting. The story of the Greek maiden tracing the shadow of her departing lover on the wall points to this. The art developed rapidly. In 463 B.c., Polygnotus, one of the first Greek painters of distinction, introduced individual portraiture in the decoration of public buildings, and Apelles nearly a century later showed so much genius in rendering character and expression, that Alexander the Great appointed him “portrait painter in ordinary, ” and issued' an edict forbidding any one else to produce pictorial representations of his majesty. Similar edicts were issued in favour of the sculptor Lysippus and Pyrgoteles the gem engraver. No works of the Greek painters survive, but the fate of two portraits by Apelles, which were in the possession of the emperor Claudius (A.D. 41-54), is known, the heads having been painted out to make room for the features of the divine Augustus!

After the time of Alexander (300 B.C.) Greek art rapidly deteriorated. There is, perhaps, nothing in the history of human intelligence to compare with the dazzling 'swiftness of its development or the rapidity of its decline. War was followed by pillage and devastation, and victorious Roman generals, mere depredators and plunderers, crowded Rome with the stolen treasures of Greece, with the result that Greek art and Greek influence soon made themselves felt in-the imperial city, and for generations its artists were almost exclusively Greeks, chiefly portrait painters and decorators. The Romans possessed no innate aptitude for art, and rather despised it as a pursuit little becoming the dignity of a citizen. Although lacking in appreciation of the higher conditions of art, they had from early times decorated their atria with effigies-originally wax moulds-of the countenances of their ancestors. These primitive “ wax-works ” ultimately developed into portrait busts, often vivid and faithful, the only branch of art in which Rome achieved excellence.

With the invasion of the Northern barbarians and the fall of the empire Graeco-Roman art ended. In the following centuries Christianity gradually became the dominant religion, but its ascetic temper could not find expression in the old artistic forms. Instead of joy in the ideals of bodily perfection, came a loathing of the body and its beauty, and artists were classed among “persons of iniquitous occupations. ” Before the 5th century these prejudices had relaxed, and images and pictures again came into general favour for religious uses. In the 8th and 9th centuries, the iconoclasts commenced their systematic destruction, and it was not till the Renaissance in the 13th century that art began again to live. The great revival brought with it a closer observation of the facts of nature and a growing sense of beauty, and the works of Cimabue and Giotto prepared the way for those of Benozzo Gozzoli, Ghirlandaio and the long line of masters who raised Italian art to such a height in the 15th and 16th centuries. Although the works of the early painters of the Renaissance were mostly devoted to the expression of the dogmas of the Church, the growing love and study of nature led them, as opportunity afforded, to introduce portraits of living contemporaries into their sacred pictures. Gozzoli (142O°I4Q8) and Ghirlandaio (1449-1494) began the practice, followed by nearly all the old and great painters, of introducing portraiture into their works; Ghirlandaio especially filling some of his great fresco compositions with the forms and features of the living men and women of Florence, members of the Tornabuoni, Medici and other great families. Acuteness of observation was innate in the race. By degrees it manifested itself in a marvellous subtlety in the rendering of individual character, in the portrayal of individual men and women, and a school of portraiture was developed of which Titian became the crowning glory. This great Venetian painter, by universal consent reckoned one of the masters of portraiture, has handed down to us the features of many of the greatest historical and literary personages of his time-emperor, pope, king, doge-all sat by turn to him and loaded him with honours. The names of Bellini, Raffaelle, Tintoret, Vercmese and Moroni of Bergamo occur among those of the great Italian portrait painters of the I 5th and 16th centuries. The last-named, some of whose finest works are now in England, was highly praised by Titian. A love of ugliness characterizes the artists of the early German and Flemish schools, and most of the portraits produced by them previous to Holbein's time suffer from this cause. Schtingauer, Dürer and Lucas Cranach are never agreeable or pleasant, however interesting in other respects. Dürer, the typical German artist, the dreamer of dreams, the theorist, the thinker, the Writer, was less fitted by nature for a portrait painter than Holbein, who, with a keen sense of nature's subtle beauty, was a far greater painter although a less powerful personality. He produced many fine works in other branches, but it is as a portrait painter that Holbein is chiefly known, and his highest claims to fame will rest on his marvellous achievements in that branch of art. He first came to England in 1526, bringing with him letters of introduction from Erasmus. Sir Thomas More received him as his guest, and during his stay he painted More's and Archbishop Warham's portraits. In 1532 he was again in London, where till his death in 1543 he spent much of his time. He was largely employed by the German merchants of the Steelyard and many Englishmen of not.e, and afterwards by Henry VIII., by whom he was taken into permanent service with a pension. As a portrait painter Holbein is remarkable not only for his keen insight into the character of his sitters, but for the beauty and delicacy of his drawing. As colourist he may be judged by an admirable example of his work, “ The Ambassadors, ” in the National Gallery in London. Many of his drawings appear to have been made as preliminary studies for his portraits.

In Flanders ]an van Eyck (1390-1440), his brother Hubert, Quintin Matsys, Memlinc and other artists of the 15th century occasionally practised portraiture. The picture of Jean Arnoliini and his wife, in the National Gallery, London, is a remarkable sample of the first-named artist, and the small half-length of young Martin van Nieumenhoven, in the hospital of St John at Bruges, of the last-named. Nearly a century later the names of Antony Mor (or Moro), Rubens and Van Dyck appear. Rubens, although not primarily a painter of portraits, achieved no small distinction in that way, being much employed by royalty (Maria de Medici, Philip IV. and the English Charles I. among the number). His services were also in request as ambassador or diplomatist, and thrice at least he was sent on missions of that nature. His personal energy and industry were enormous, but a large proportion of the work attributed to him was painted by pupils, of whom Van Dyck was one of the most celebrated. Van Dyck (1599-1641) early acquired a high reputation as a portrait painter. In 1632 he was invited to England by Charles I., and settled there for the remainder of his life. He was knighted by Charles, and granted a pension of £200 a year, with the title of painter to his majesty. Many of Van Dyck's portraits, especially those of the early and middle periods, are unsurpassed in their freshness, force and vigour of handling. He is a master among masters.. England possesses many of his works, especially of his later period. To Van Dyck we owe much of our knowledge of what Charles I. and those about him were like. A routine practice, luxurious living, failing health, and the employment of assistants told upon his work, which latterly lost much of its early charm. In Holland in the 17th century portraiture reached a high standard. A reaction had set in against Italian influence, and extreme faithfulness and literal resemblance became the prevailing fashion. The large portrait pictures of the members of gil ds and corporations, so frequently met with in Holland, are characteristically Dutch. The earliest Works Of the kind are