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Our Artists in Italy, Landscape Art - Atlantic

A representation of Nature, in order to be a true landscape, must be organic. It must not present itself as an aggregation, but as a growth. It must manifest obedience to laws which are peculiarly its own, and through the operation of which it has developed from the moment of inception to that of maturity. And, moreover, that inception must have been near a human heart, that development must have been nourished by vitality derived from human life, and that maturity must be that of the divine unity to which tend all the mysterious operations of organizing energies.

We hold this to be the first essential condition of Landscape Art, the condition without which no rendering of Nature can be Art. Other points of excellence may be unattained. Let this be evident, that the production is an offspring of humanity, and it shall be perceived also that it partakes of whatever immortality the human heart inherits. Herein is concealed the whole secret of the value of pre-Raphaelite Art, and not, as we have been assured, in the faithfulness of its followers to the exact representation of the individual details of Nature. Each wrought from the love of Nature, consciously giving what truth he possessed, unconsciously giving of his own interior life. Each picture was the child of the painter. Yet, however much the ancient artist may have failed in rendering the specific truths of the external world, we can never attribute his failure to any disregard for the true. His picture never gives the impression of falsehood; and in the most erroneous record of the external there is ever the promise of more truth, and this promise is not that of the man, but of the principle governing the character of his picture.

We think that all works of Art may be divided into two distinct classes: those which are the result of a man's whole nature, involving the affectional, religious, and intellectual, and those which are the productions of the intellect, and from the will. The first class comprises those results of Art which are vital,—which come to us through processes of growth, and impress us with a sense of organization. The second includes those works which are constructed,—which present an accumulation of objects mechanically combined, parts skilfully joined through scientific means.

Earnestness and the definite purpose which is its sign, love which drew the soul into sweetest communion with our mother Nature, giving to him who thus came revelations of the harmonies possible between her and her children, and devotion to his art mightier than ever inspired the Hindoo devotee in self-sacrifice, characterized those who have given all that pure Art which has been alluded to as the true: and such were the majority of those artists who preceded Raphael.

True, all of those who were devoted to Landscape Art, or who made it a part of their practice to introduce this element into their pictures, often failed in attaining truth; but, by some strange power with which they have invested their landscapes, an impulse is given to the perception, and the essential truth, feebly hinted at, perhaps, is recognized. But as the record comes down through the years, each new picture approximates more nearly to the character of the scene attempted, with, occasionally, (as in the works of Masaccio,) touches of truth absolutely perfect, until at last appeared that man altogether at one with Nature, who reproduced Nature in all its glory, pomp, freedom, and life, as might an archangel. Titian brought to perfection the first great class of Landscape Art, and, of course, in doing so, perfected that department which was the only one as yet developed, and which remains a distinct branch, subject to its own peculiar laws. We refer to the rendering of natural scenery, beginning in the merely and completely subordinate accessory, and ending, with Titian, in the perfectly dignified and noble companionship of the visible universe with man.

We speak of this Art perfected far back, because we feel assured that landscape, as accessory to the historical, has an ideal altogether distinct from that of pure landscape.

It would not be just, perhaps, to regard the law which necessitates this ideal as a law of subordination, although that condition prevails up to the time of Titian. Nature, to the true man, never presents itself as subordinate, but as correspondently ever equal with man, ever ready with possibilities to match his own. So true is this, that a man's universe, that of which his vision takes possession, is a part of himself, subject to his sorrows and joys, his hope and his despair: to him, the violets, the mountains, and the far-away worlds, throbbing in unison with his own heart-beat, are in some wise the signs or the manifestations of his own soul's possibilities. And he is right. That of the flower which is its beauty, that of the mountains which is their magnificent grandeur, that of the stars which is their ineffable glory and sublimity, is his, is within him, is a part of his soul's life, waxing or waning so in unison with its richness or poverty that wise men mark the soul's stature by the part of it which is akin to the violets, the hills, or the infinite sky.

"The world is as large as a man's head." In that there is a fine hint of a great truth, but beyond that is the truth. It is not the mere knowledge of Alcyone that necessitates the sublime. After that comes the wonder. The world is as large as is a man, and its relation to him is marked by a sympathy which acts and reacts with the certainty and precision of law.

The ideal of Landscape Art, used in alliance with representations of the human figure, must, then, be founded upon this immutable sympathy between the landscape world and the human. Thus, in the painting alluded to in the article on Mr. Page, "The Entombment" of the Louvre, the landscape is charged with the solemnity of the hour. No blade of grass or shadow of leaf but seems conscious of the great event, and the sky reveals, by its heavenly tenderness, that there all is known.

How different in expression, yet how similar in strength, is the landscape of that seeming miracle, "The Presentation in the Temple"! It is clear, confident day,—so pure and perfect a day abroad over the happy earth, that all things lure forth into an atmosphere so unsullied that to breathe it is life and joy,—over an earth youthful with spring, fresh with morning; and hither have come the people to see confirmed the future mother of Christ, now the child Mary. As the maiden ascends the steps of the Temple, a halo surrounds her,—not her head alone, but all the form,—and far away a fainter halo rests upon the hills. Her youth, its purity and half-recognized promise, seem sweetly imaged in the morning freshness and spring-life of the landscape.

We can remember no landscape by Titian which is not in full sympathy with the motives which actuate his groups. It is the unison of scene and act that gives his pictures a unity and completeness never or rarely found elsewhere.

After Titian came painters—among them, mighty ones—who, like Tintoretto, wrought from the external. The elements of the landscape were treated with knowledge and power, but not often with feeling, and very seldom with a recognition of its central significance. One example is so marvellous, however, that we cannot forbear referring to it. Its truthfulness is the more remarkable from the fact that the painter's conceptions rarely were such that any true landscape could be found capable of harmony with their character. In this picture, "The Temptation of Saint Anthony," one of the Pitti Palace Gallery, Salvator has wrought marvellously like a demon. The horizon and the sky near it are charged with a sense of demoniacal conflict for human souls, and forebodings of defeat and woe.

Yet within this, mantling the remotest depths, there is a sheen of light, a gleam of hope and faith.

In our own times there is little to refer to illustrative of excellence in this branch of Art. Overbeck makes frequent use of natural scenery, and his delicate yet firm outlines repeat, hill and valley and clouds, the sentiment of peace and purity which pervades his noble productions.

Not that there are not produced frequently, and especially in France, works remarkable for truth and power. But, too often, the truths are redundant, and the power vanquishes the sentiments of the group.

One artist in France, Rosa Bonheur, has, however, embodied conceptions so noble, so in unison with the finest Nature, that its most glorious and most significant scenery, rendered with a handling akin to the old mastership, is alone adequate to sympathize with and sustain them. I need but refer to the wonderful view of the Pyrenees in the picture of "The Muleteers," the tender morning spirit of that heathery scene in the Highlands, and that miracle of representation, the near ground, crisp and frosty, of Mr. Belmont's "Hunters in Early Morning."

American Art, as represented in Italy, has few examples of excellence in this branch of painting. Its followers have wrought more persistently in other directions, toward the expression of a class of ideals rarely involving the one which we have attempted to analyze. Yet, occasionally, an artist has appeared, making Rome or Florence his home long enough to win a place, which, when he has departed, is not quickly filled, who has ideas of history and events calling for the record of the palette; or there has been wrought in the studio of some resident painter a composition in which landscape has been employed as accessory.

In many instances there have been produced works which reflect the highest honor upon our country. As it is foreign to the purpose of the present paper to deal with other than the different phases of landscape-painting, we forbear to speak as their merits suggest of the figure portions of the works of Mr. Rothermel, the result of his brief sojourn in Italy. In any passage of scenery, and particularly in sky forms and tones, the expression and character are always such as support vigorously the action of his group. We say vigorously; for Mr. Rothermel, in his Italian pictures, revealed an artistic nature related to humanity in its most agitated moods, as in the "Lear," and in the "Saint Agnese,"—this beautiful picture being, however, a higher conception, inasmuch as in it the spirit might find some rest in the stillness of the maiden Agnese, already saint and about to be martyr, and in the deep blue sky, on whose field linger white clouds, like lambs "shepherded by the slow unwilling winds."

Brief mention was made, in our allusion to Mr. Page's picture of the "Flight into Egypt," to its landscape. This work was executed in Rome, and its peculiar tone excited much interest among the friends of Mr. Field, its fortunate possessor. A beautiful, yet not altogether original idea, finds expression in the foreground group, where Mary, poised upon the back of the ass, folds the child in her arms, the animal snatches at a wayside weed, Joseph, drawing tightly the long rope by which he leads, bends away into the desert with weird energy. In all other representations of this subject the accessory landscape has usually been living with full-foliaged trees, abundant herbage, and copious streams. To indicate the Egyptian phase of its character, palms have been introduced, as in the beautiful picture by Claude in the Doria Gallery, and almost invariably the scene has been one of luxury and peace. But with the event itself all this conflicts. In it were sorrow and apprehension and death. The fugitives saw not then the safety, nor anticipated the victory. In this picture, beyond and before the hurrying group, stretches the immeasurable, hungry sand. A sad golden-brown haze—such as sometimes comes in our Indian summer, when the hectic autumn rests silent, mournful and hopeless, in the arms of Nature— pervades the plain; while on the horizon far away,—an infinite distance it seems, so strangely spectral are they,—rise the Pyramids, just those awful ghosts against the ominous sky!

As different as are the subjects he chooses are the bits of scenery Hamilton Wild introduces in his pictures of life as it now is. His are more truly historical paintings, although aspiring to no record of the greatly bad and sorrowful transactions of our age. They represent the joy and hope of youth, the cheerfulness and vivacity of the lowly, their pleasantest pursuits, their most primitive customs, their characteristic and often superb costumes; and wherever a passage of scenery occurs, it is always that which has aided in developing the human life with which it is associated.

There is never a discrepancy, nor is unison of sentiment ever achieved by any bending of the truth. His keen sense of harmony never fails to perceive, in the infinite range of tones and expressions of Nature, just that which better than all others supports the character and action of his group. With motives so healthful, it may be less difficult to find that sympathy which Nature cheerfully gives; yet there is a tendency with artists to be enticed away from Nature's joyousness, and especially from her simplicity.

To this temptation Mr. Wild can never have been subjected. The freedom which he manifests is not that which has been won, but into which he must have been born, and with that grew the ability which transfigures labor into play. Unto such a Nature the out-world presents unasked her phases of joy and brightness, her light and life.

Does he seek Nature? No. Nature goes with him; and whether he tarry among the Lagoons, where all seems Art or Death, or in the shadow and desolation of the Campagna, in the unclean villages of the Alban Hills, or where the shadows of deserted palaces fall black, broken, and jagged on the red earth of Granada, there she companions him. She shows him, that, after all, Venice is hers, and gives him the white marble enriched with subtilest films of gold, alabaster which the processes of her incessant years have changed to Oriental amber, a city made opalescent by the magic of her sunsets. At Rome she opens vistas away from the sepulchral, out into the wine-colored light of the Campagna, into the peace gladdened by larks and the bleating of lambs; above are pines,—Italian pines,—and across the path falls the still shadow of blooming oleanders. She leads away from squalid towns, and gathers a group of her children,—peasants, costumed in scarlet and gold, under the grape-laden festoons of vines, while the now distant village glows like cliffs of Carrara. How lavish she must have been of her old ideal Spain, the while he dwelt in Granada!—the dance of the gypsies; pomegranates heavy with ripeness hanging among the quivering glossy leaves; olives gleaming with soft ashy whiteness, as the south-wind wanders across their grove up to where the towers of the Alhambra lift golden and pale lilac against the clear sky.

We have dwelt thus lengthily upon this primitive and apparently less important branch of Landscape Art for several reasons: from a conviction that its importance is, and is only apparently less; from the fact that from it have been derived all other classes of landscape; and because a comprehension of its scope and purpose aids more than any other agency in understanding those of the pure and simple Landscape Art.

We have seen Nature ever ready with moods so related to the soul that no ideal worthy of Art might be conceived beyond the range of her sympathies. Even to that event involving all the intensity of human thought and feeling, the last refinement of all spiritual emotion, and a sense of mysteries more sublime than the creation of worlds,—even to the Crucifixion,—Nature gathered herself, as the only possible sign, the only expression for men, then and forever, of the awful significance. The joyfulness of festivals, the pomp of processions, the sublimity of great martyrdoms, the sorrow of defeats, the peace of holiness, the innocence and sweetness of childhood, the hope of manhood, and the retrospection of old age, when represented upon the canvas, find in her forms and colors endless refrain of response.

This truth, that Nature is capable of such cooperation with the human, that she confines herself to no country or continent, and that her expressions are not relative, depending upon the suggestiveness of the human action to which they correspond, but are positive and under the rule of the immutable, enables the artist to evolve the first great class of simple landscape-painting.

Had Art always been real and artists ever true, this consideration must have called forth this class. It being true that natural scenery readily allies itself with representations of the human figure in order to express more perfectly than otherwise possible the ideal, it must be through affinity with that which evolves the ideal, and only by indirect relation to its sign or visible manifestation in form-language. Then why not found a school of landscape by discarding the human figure as an element of expression? A man comes who is born to the easel, yet who feels no impulse to represent the practical effect upon human faces and limbs of the various emotions, passions, and sentiments which demand utterance. His thought is to hold himself to his kindred by more subtile and far more delicate bonds. He knows that any one can look upon the "Huguenot Lovers," by Millais, and feel responsive; for it occupies a great plane, a part of which may be mistaken for passion. But he feels that the love of Thekla and Max Piccolomini will permit no effigy but that sacred bank beyond the cliffs of Libussa's Castle, whither come no footsteps nor jarring of wheels, but only the sound of the deep Moldau and of remote bells. It is the essence of the ideal which compels his imagination, not the limited and restless circumstance which chanced to occur as its revelator. Then the day uprises as if conscious of his inner life and purpose. Then she gives him breadth after breadth of color, within which is traced her no longer mystic alphabet. How significant are the forms she gives him for the foreground, sweet monosyllables! There are pansies, and rue, and violets, and rosemary. Among these and their companions children walk and learn, and to the child-man, the artist to be, she proffers these emblems. Should he accept her gifts, then all this wonderful world of Art-Nature is open to him. He inherits, possesses beyond all deeds, above all statutes,—as does Mr. Gay, who painted that great, though unassuming, picture of "The Marshes of Cohasset."

Because Art was not held to the highest, few men have known the elevation of this department of landscape-painting. Too deep or too devoted a life seems to have been required, too constant communion with Nature, or too broad a study of her phenomena. Unfortunately, we have few representatives of this class, in Italy,—Mr. Wild producing only rarely works which to the principles hinted at are precious illustrations. After the remarks we have made, we fear that allusion to the existing facts of painting may be deemed disparaging. Not so; we deprecate such a conclusion. One great and living picture marks the man. To be true to himself and Nature is the first duty, even should he be compelled to stand lifelong with his face towards the west, in order to possess his soul in Art.

One of the pleasantest styles of landscape painting is that where the artist, in a mood of deep peace, sits down in the midst of scenes endeared by long and sweet association, and records in all tenderness their spirit and beauty. Such scenery Italy affords, and the Alban Hills seem to be the centre whence radiate all phases of the lovely and beautiful in Nature. There her forms have conspired with all the highest and rarest phenomena of light to render her state unapproachably glorious.

There has also been given such an artist,—a woman altogether truthful, strong, and nobly delicate; and although several years have passed since she left Italy, her representations of scenery peculiarly Italian are too remarkable to be passed unnoticed. Indeed, this lady, Miss Sarah Jane Clark, is the only artist whose works are illustrative of a style of simple Landscape Art which unites in itself the love and conscientiousness of early Art and the precision and science of the modern. Her picture of Albano is wonderful,—not from the rendering of unusual or brilliant effects, but from a sense of genuineness. We feel that it grew. The flower and leaf forms which enrich the near ground are such as spring up on days like the one she has chosen. Another month, and new combinations would have given another key to her work and rendered the present impossible. In that real landscape had wrought the secret vitality clothing the earth in leafage and bloom. In its representation we see that a still more refined, a diviner vitality, has evolved leaf, flower, and golden grain. Another fact associated with this painting, as well as with some of its companions, is its character of restraint.

Temperance in Landscape Art is very difficult in the vicinity of Rome. In this picture the scene sweeps downward, with most gentle and undulating inclination, over vast groves of olive and luxuriant vineyards, to the Campagna with its convex waves of green and gold, on which float the wrecks of cities, out to the sea itself, not so far away as to conceal the flashing of waves upon the beach. Daily, over this groundwork, so deftly wrought for their reception, are cast fields and mighty bands of violet and rose, of amber and pale topaz, of blue, orange, and garnet, upon the sea. It is as if an aurora had fallen from Arctic skies, living, changeful, evanescent, athwart sea, plain, and mountain. Here is sore temptation for the colorist; more, perhaps, than by the wealth and combination of tints, he is affected by their celestial quality. All is prismatic, or like those hues produced by the interference of rays of light as seen in the colors of stars. Gorgeous as are these phenomena, they are also as transitory; and although the scene is repeated, it is with such subtile and such great changes as to remove it from the grasp of the painter who wishes to study his work wholly from Nature. The eye must be quick and the brush obedient, to catch the fleeting glories of those Alban sunsets. Even the imperial hand of Turner could give us only reminiscences.

The allurements to adopt a style of coloring involving these effects must have been great to one whose love of color amounted to a passion. Only a still greater love could have drawn her of whom we speak to the more subdued, but higher plane upon which she stands,—and that must have been a love of truth, and of that which has appealed to her nature through repetition's sweet influences. This is the scene lying in deep repose in open, permanent day. Trees, hills, plain, and sea forget the flying hours. Yesterday they did not remember, serene and changeless as ivy on the wall. So gradual has been the transition, so slowly has the surface of the grain lifted from the rippling blade to the billowy stalk, so continually have the scarlet poppies bloomed since May came, that, to her, this is ever the same beneficent and dear spot, sacred to her soul, as well as fitting type and sign of her pure Art.

The class of landscape-painting which deals with morning and evening phenomena, and is based upon the fleeting and transitory, is the only one that finds representation at present in Italy. Mr. Brown has developed new and peculiar strength since his return to America, and must require place from his new stand-point. Abel Nichols, whose copies of Claude were so truthful, and whose original pictures ever strove to be so, who through surpassing sacrifice became great, who lived, if ever man has, the wonderful Christ-life, now sleeps the sleep of peace, the last peace, under the sod of the landscape of his nativity.

There remains to be considered a series of undeniably remarkable pictures, executed in Rome by John Rollin Tilton.

This artist's landscapes are remarkable for the conflicting effects which they have produced on the public. They have excited, as they have been exhibited in his studio in Rome, great enthusiasm, and admiration which would listen to no criticism. Until perhaps the present year, which is one of prostration in Rome, his works could not be purchased, each one being the fulfilment of a commission given long before. These commissions were given not by men merely wealthy, but by men widely known for cultivation, discrimination, and for refinement of that taste which requires the influences of Art. On the other hand, men equally as remarkable for their accomplishments in matters of taste have expressed their condemnation of all the paintings of Mr. Tilton, or rather for those executed prior to 1859, and there were those who heaped them with ridicule. In admiration and condemnation we have often shared;—in the sentiment of ridicule never; for in all attempts there have been the hintings of worthy purpose and a desire to excel.

Those who most despise Mr. Tilton's style and productions are men whose tendencies are to the theories of English pre-Raphaelism. Viewed in relation to those principles, his pictures have little value. The purchasers of them are the men who regard with enthusiastic admiration the evanescent splendors of Nature.

Mr. Tilton's early ambition was to be the painter to fulfil the demands of this latter class. He not only sympathized with it in its greater admiration for "effects" in Nature, but he found associated therewith an enthusiasm which inspired him with unbounded hope and energy.

When he came to Rome, the Campagnian sunsets were found to be representative of the peculiar class of effects which he regarded as the manifestation of his feeling; and so he forthwith took possession of that part of the day which was passing while the sun performed the last twelve degrees of his daily journey. Other portions of the twenty-four hours did not appear to excite even ordinary interest; and whenever conversation involved consideration of scenery under other than the favorite character, he was prone to silence, or to attempts to change the subject. Yet he has been known to speak in terms of commendation of certain sunrises, and once was actually caught by a friend making a sketch of Pilatus at sunrise across the Lake of Lucerne.

The objects in the immediate foreground shared in the neglect which attached to certain seasons. They were ignored as organized members of what should be a living foreground, and their places were concealed by unintelligible pigment. As to life there, he wanted none: light,—light that gleams, and color to reflect it, were his aim. As an inevitable attending result of these principles, or practices, the structure of the whole landscape was ambiguous. The essential line and point were evaded, and one perceived that the artist had watched far more attentively than he had studied Nature.

At the same time the pictures produced in this studio were marked by qualities of great beauty. The peculiarly ethereal character of the vast bands of thin vapors made visible by the slant rays of the sun, and illuminated with tints which are exquisitely pure and prismatic, was rendered with surprising success. On examination, the tints which were used to represent the prismatic character of those of Nature were found to present surfaces of such excessive delicacy, that the evanescence of the natural phenomena was suggested, and apprehensions were indulged as to the permanency of the effects. That noble north light of a cloudless Roman sky did not extend far, hardly to Civita Vecchia, certainly not to England, Old or New; and with a less friendly hand than his own to expose his work, under sight still less kind, there might be presented a picture bereft of all but its faults. Such has been the case.

We here dismiss willingly further recollection of the works to which we have called attention. They are marked by error in theory, inasmuch as they show neglect of the specific and essential, and by feebleness of system, inasmuch as under no other light than that in which they were painted could their finer qualities be perceived. Yet it is but just to add that these were produced during a state of transition from one method of applying pigments to another of totally different character.

This period of the painter's experience was brought to a close by the better one of a summer residence at Pieve di Cadore, a village among the Friulian Alps. Thither he might have gone merely to make a pilgrimage to the birthplace of Titian; for other reason than that he stayed in Cadore. He stayed for life, truth, and correction, and he found all. No other place on the continent could have afforded Mr. Tilton the benefit that this mountain village did. Here was no ambiguity, no optical illusion, but frank; ingenuous Nature. The peaks which guarded the valley were clear and immutable. They suffered no conflicting opinions; accident had done little to disguise, their true character, but Nature held them as specimens of the essential in mountain structure. That the lesson of these peaks might not be forgotten, the student finds them copied accurately in nearly every landscape painted by Titian. The magnificent one in "The Presentation in the Temple" was his favorite. The sketches of this period show that the artist's attention was divided between the study of these hill forms and of the luxuriant vegetation of the sloping fields and pastures so characteristic of Swiss scenery. Cadore is most richly endowed in this respect. The hill-sides are burdened with flowers, many of which are large and of tropical splendor. The green of the broad fields is modified by the burden of blossoms. We have seen against the background of one of these steepest fields what seemed to be a column of delicate blue smoke wreathing up the hill-side. In reality it was a bed of wild forget-me-nots, which marked the course of a minute rill. Under such influences as these, a man born to be a painter, to whom Art is all, whose hand never fails to execute, and whose mind has risen above any erroneous combination of principles which may have checked his progress toward the greatly excellent, must find himself with new strength, a chastened imagination, and broader conceptions of his art.

The results of Mr. Tilton's labors since the summer in the Alps prove that such was the effect upon him. His pictures have of late occupied nearly every class of Landscape Art. The works now wrought in his Roman studio are indicative of great changes in feeling, and are marked by surprising improvements in execution. Yet the individuality of the artist is impressed upon every canvas. The changes to which we refer are these,—foregrounds suggested by or painted from living forms. In one view of Nemi we saw a superb black, gold, and crimson butterfly resting on a flower. Yet these foregrounds require more strength, more "body," more of that which artists achieve who achieve nothing else. We notice far more individualism in tree forms. The ideal tree, that is, the tree as it should be, and the conventional one coming against the sky on one side of the composition, the one bequeathed by Claude, have given place to Nature's homelier types. The question as to the meaning of passages no longer arises. The lines are drawn with a decision, with a sense of certainty, raising them above all doubt. In the rendering of distant mountains, Mr. Dillon evinces new knowledge of what such forms necessarily imply,—their tendency to monotone and to flatness, yet preserving all their essential surface markings, and their inevitable cutting outline against the sky,—which sharpness Mr. Tilton as yet has only hinted at, not represented. Positive edges are the true.—But we have no further space to devote to these particulars of landscape form. In these Mr. Tilton has many rivals and not a few superiors.

There is left us the pleasant privilege of alluding to an ability which we believe he shares with none, and which enables him to give his present pictures their great value. This is the power to discriminate accurately between the several classes of color,—the local, the reflected, and the prismatic. It will be found on reference to most landscapes, especially those of the English schools, that it is the understanding, already informed on the subject, which accepts as reflected the continual attempts to render this kind of color: they are regarded as indicative. But the eye, which should have been satisfied first, recognizes nothing more than local coloring. Near objects, under broad, open daylight, yield us their local coloring,—as the surfaces of stones, the trunks of trees, and the many tints of soil and vegetation,—yet even here all is modified by reflections. We remember a cliff at L'Ariccia, which, gray in morning light, became, as evening approached, a marvellous beryl green, upon which some large poppies cast wafts of purest scarlet. Farther away, both local and reflected color lose their power. The rays no longer convey information of surfaces as separate existences. Nature gathers up into masses, and these masses tide back to the foreground colors far removed in character from the near. Vast combinations of rays and atmospheric influences have wrought this change. As we have said, noon gives us the earth clean and itself; but, as the sun declines, flushes of color pass along the ground. Their character we have already described. The particles which fill the atmosphere just above the surface of the earth become illuminated and visible in radiant masses. Farther away there is floated over the mountains a miraculous bloom, a bloom like that upon virgin fruit; and still more remote, upon the far sea, there is a dream of amber mantling the sleeping blue. To render these effects, to give us the illuminated air, the soft green which the mossy sod casts upon the shaded cliff, the precious bloom upon the hills, and the tints diffused along the sea,—to achieve this so completely that there never shall be any doubt, to give us upon the canvas what shall be all this to the beholder, is great, and this Mr. Tilton has performed.