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Italy. The fate of pictures was consequently not involved in that of monuments. In Italy, to destroy them was to overturn a church or a palace. The paintings of Giotto, or Simone di Martino, were no more removable than the walls which they adorned. The sole resource of the Vandal at that time was whitewash, which he used freely ; but in Belgium, the panels of an altar-piece or a hall of justice were removable at pleasure, and the canvases which Van der Weyden and Van der Goes painted in tempera, and suspended in churches and cloisters, were easily carried away.
The result of this has been to lessen the number of great pieces in the monuments and houses of the Netherlands; and these vicissitudes have fallen on none of the early painters so fatally as on Hubert Van Eyck. .
Hubert Van Eyck was sacrificed for centuries to the fame which John Van Eyck succeeded in engrossing by final improvements in the oil mediums and varnishes. No neglect was more unjust than this; for Hubert transcended in genius both John Van Eyck and every other painter of the Netherlands. His grand characteristic, as chief of the Flemish school, was severity and nobleness of expression. His great quality was colour; but he failed in idealism. The gravity and pensiveness which marked his Saints was not in every instance coupled with a sentiment of holiness and that elevated type which Scripture would impress; and, though he never proved himself a trivial or a vulgar painter, his mind was not above some weakening conceits. Had he possessed the entire gift of simplicity, he would not have laden the broad and sweeping folds of his drapery with