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a fac-simile, though smaller, of that which John Van Eyck produced in 1438, authenticated, as it seemed, by the signature and mark of Van Eyck himself. This head was evidently devoid of all that characterised the master, being a superficial imitation—a cold, hard, and lifeless mask, painted without art or sentiment, and without the broad impasto or the skilful glazings of the original, yet the signature removed all doubt respecting its authenticity; the only question with the critics being as to whether 1440 or 1420 was the real date ; those who argued for the latter expressing their firm belief that this must be the very Head of Christ which John exhibited at Antwerp, to the astonishment and pleasure of the Artist Corporation. The signature and date, however, were more suspicious than the picture itself; their tenor, “ Johểs de Eyck, inventor, anno 1440, 30 January,” being, at least, unusual. It can scarcely be conceived, indeed, how, for the first time, at fifty-nine, John Van Eyck should write · himself “ inventor," when the fame of his discoveries and talents had gone the round of every country on the Continent, still less that he should paint a picture so little in his own manner, so dull and poor as this, at the very moment when he produced the splendid portrait of his wife. In spite, therefore, of the signature, we do not hesitate to deny its genuineness."
The so-called Van Eycks in the Pinakothek of Munich will be found elsewhere. St. Luke painting the portrait of the Virgin, and the Adoration of the Magi, with wings which represent the Annunciation and the Presentation
1 No. 3, Cat. of Bruges.
in the Temple, will be classed amongst the fine productions of Van der Weyden. The “Offerings of the Magi,"2 in the same gallery, must be placed much lower, and as the work of an imitator, both of Memling and Van Eyck, in the early half of the sixteenth century.
The Virgin and Child, with St. Joachim and St. Anne, at Dresden, is, perhaps, of the period of Van Eyck, but by an inferior pupil. .
The Adoration of the Magi, now in the Brussels' Museum, and lately the property of M. Van Rotterdam, will be found hereafter amongst the works of another pupil of that master. 4
It will scarcely be necessary to enter into a disquisition upon the origin of the supposed Van Eycks lately exhibited in the Lyversberg Collection at Cologne, which belong to the school of Kalkar. They will find a place elsewhere. There are, however, some pictures which bear the name of John Van Eyck, and which, although they are too feebly executed for the master, are yet worthy of mention.
Two panels attributed to John Van Eyck, in the Madrid Museum, belong to the school, and recal to mind the manner, of Petrus Cristus.
The portrait of the Cardinal de Bourbon, in the Moritz
1 No. 35, 36, 37, Cab. III. Munich Catalogue.
4 This is the picture described by Guarienti, in his Dictionary of Painters, as a splendid Van Eyck, dated 1416. No such date is on it now. See also Roscoe's Lanzi, ed. 1847, vol. i. p. 81.
5 Nos. 1401 and 1403, Madrid Catalogue. o See infra, p. 119.
Kapelle, at Nuremberg, cannot chronologically be given to Van Eyck.
With respect to the Descent from the Cross, in the Belvedere, at Vienna, it is obviously a picture of much later date than the period of the Van Eycks, and belongs to the school of Leyden, about the year 1500. Some of the details of the subject would do honour to any school. The picture, however, is very small.2
The catalogues of the Belvedere Gallery also attribute to John Van Eyck a Madonna with the Infant Christ at her breast. The Virgin is clothed, as usual, in blue, and wears a crown. She stands before a throne magnificently decorated with Gothic architecture. This panel is not by John Van Eyck, but by an imitator of his manner. The flesh tints are grey, and the modelling of its parts lack delicacy of handling. The Infant, more than any other portion of the composition, recals to mind the manner of Van Eyck. The general style and execution of the whole-remind one of the so-called Van Eyck of the late Mr. Rogers' Collection.
Similar characteristics mark a panel also in the Belvedere representing St. Catherine, erroneously attributed to Hubert Van Eyck, and by the same hand as this imitation of John Van Eyck.
Two panels, which apparently once formed part of a single picture, are separated, and hang in the galleries of
i No. 22, Catalogue of the Moritz Kapelle, 1' 1" by 10".
2 No. 10, second room, Belvedere Catalogue. Wood, 1' 1" by 84", Austrian measure:
3 No. 15, Belvedere Catalogue, chamber second. Wood, 7" by 41!".
4 See supra, p. 82.
Lord Ward and Mr. Baring. The first is a scene in the interior of a cathedral, where a priest is elevating the host before a pious crowd. The outlines of the figures are firm, but there is much monotony in the execution. The parts most worthy of commendation are the architecture and accessories. There is a strong contrast visible between the red shadows and the pale lights. On the back of the panel is a chiaro’scuro figure of a bishop. The second panel represents St. Giles, in a landscape, extracting the arrow from the back of his favourite fawn. A prince, attended by a bishop, kneels as if asking pardon for the death of the fawn. This panel, like that of Lord Ward's Collection, is not by Van Eyck, but by an imitator of his manner, after his death. In the movement of the figures, the design, and the form of the hands, which are short and contracted, the two pictures are similar. The subject of St. Giles is painted with great body of colour, and is somewhat cold in tone. This is, perhaps, ascribable to the removal of the reddish tint which covered the picture, as was the custom amongst Flemish painters, and especially amongst the imitators of Van Eyck, who sought to obtain the vigour of colour of their master, without possessing the same means or the same cleverness. Behind this panel, as in that of Lord Ward's Collection, is a chiaro-’scuro figure of St. Peter. We know how the imitators of Van Eyck varied in the style of their productions, and often exhibited two
1 Lord Ward's Collection, Egyptian Hall. Wood, 234 inches by 175 inches, with a monogram behind not unlike a P.
2 Now in Mr. Baring's Collection. Sold at Christies' in 1854, from the Collection of T. Emerson, Esq. Wood, 234 inches by 174 inches.
different manners in parts of the same picture. We are, therefore, induced to believe that these two pictures are by the same painter, and that they once formed part of one tryptic. We certainly consider them works of the same period, and executed by an imitator of the mode of colouring practised by the Van Eycks.
Amongst a collection of valuable portraits in Stafford House is one which represents a half figure of a man, with a black cap and dark brown habit, showing beneath it a white vest, clasped with a jewel. The figure is painted on a green ground, and has the attitude of one looking out of a window. On the back of the portrait is painted a badge, surrounded by flames, with the war-cry or motto, “Nul ne si frote.” The portait is recognised from this and from an engraving in Montfaucon to be that of Anthony, bastard of Burgundy, natural brother of Philip the Good. Mr. Planché supposes the Bastard to. have been between forty and fifty years of age when the portrait was painted ; and after considering the dates of his birth and death, comes to the conclusion that the picture was executed between 1465 and 1467,—that is, twenty-five or twenty-seven years after the death of John Van Eyck. These data coincide exactly with those which may be derived from the examination of the picture itself. It is doubtless one of the fine productions of the period subsequent to John Van Eyck. One need but compare it with that of the latter master in the
1 Planché, Archeologia, Appendix to vol. xxvii., who quotes Montfaucon, Monarchie Française, p. 142. This portrait, says Mr. Planché, a Polish nobleman said, had formerly belonged to Count Sierakowski, of Warsaw.