Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/277

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271
GEORGE MARCGRAVE

property in the city of Cleve. The bill of sale or catalogue of the collection is dated February 18, 1652, and in it as given by Driesen number 14 reads

A great book in royal folio, and another somewhat smaller, containing (figures of) men, four-footed animals, birds, reptiles, fishes, trees, herbs and flowers, wherein everything, which was seen and found in Brazil, is figured in miniature cleverly after life, with names, qualities and peculiarities attached (in labels). Number 15 contains more than 100 Indian paintings done in oil on paper and not thus bound up.

Driesen notes that of the two bänden noted under number 14, the first contains 455, the second 488 sheets commonly with but one drawing, while the inventory says in one place 100, and in another "several hundred." However, since the total number of drawings in tbe collection to-day aggregates 1,460, Driesen thinks (p. 109) that only a small number were acquired by purchase, the great bulk coming to the Elector as a gift from Prince Maurice.

There now presents itself the interesting question as to who made these paintings. We learn from Manget that Marcgrave was a skillful painter. Marcgrave in his dedication of the "Historiæ Rerum Naturalium Brasiliæ" to Prince Moritz says that he (Marcgrave) made from life the figures contained in it. De Laet in his summary of Marcgrave's eight books says that the figures were drawn by the author. Comparison of the figures in Marcgrave's book with the two sets of drawings shows conclusively that these were made from the water-color paintings. Hence it is a sound conclusion that Marcgrave made the water-colors.

However since these water-color drawings bear notes in Prince Maurice's own handwriting (Mentzel and others expressly say that the Prince made them), Schneider, Bloch and Swainson think that he painted them. Lichtenstein, on the other hand, makes the following pertinent suggestion:

. . . there is ground perhaps to find this meaning therein, that the Prince himself, who loved Marcgrave very much, has added to this and not to the larger (set) remarks in his own handwriting.

Furthermore to the present writer there seems to be strong grounds for thinking that Prince Maurice made some of these drawings himself. Lichtenstein tells us that the prince "with his learned assistants studied, described and figured the plants and animals of the country."

Comparison of the handwriting on the bottom of the water-color drawing of the spotted ray (Fig. 3), with the facsimile of a letter of Count Maurice's inserted in Driesen's text, leads to the belief that they were written by the same hand.

Lichtenstein, who has gone deeper than any one else into the question of the authorship of these figures, has satisfied himself that Marcgrave made the majority of the water-colors. Here follow the five points on which he bases his belief: (1) Marcgrave says that he drew