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this he raised (probably rebuilt?) the temple of Eninnu thirty cubits high. Hommel says this was without doubt the great temple of En-Girsu. For some reason or other Urbau seems to have changed his residence from Sirpurra to Ur, on the other side of the Euphrates. He now became a great builder, and has left a large number of bricks inscribed with his name there, as he has in other cities of Babylonia. Among these are some recording the building of the temple of the Moon-god at Ur, and also the walls of Ur. He also claims to have built a temple to the goddess Nana at Uruk; this is recorded on a brick from the ruins of Bowariah, near Warka. He raised another shrine to Babbar, the Sun-god, recorded on a brick from Larsa or Senkerah; another to Nin-Lil, the wife of Ellil, on a black stone found at Niffer; another to the same God, also at Niffer, which was known as the city of Ellil. Nabonidus, who lived in the seventh century B.C., tells us that Urbau built the tower of Egis zir gal at Ur, which however he did not complete, but it was finished by his son Dungi. The ruins of this tower still form the most conspicuous object at Mugheir. He also built a temple to Sar-ili, the king of the gods, at Sirpurra. From the same source we also learn that Urbau styled himself not only king of Ur, but also king of Kingi Ura, which title now occurs for the first time. He apparently had dependents who continued to rule elsewhere. Among M. de Sarsec's discoveries is a circular dish made of hard stone, on the back of which the name of Urbau is associated with that of a certain Nam-magh-ni. From this inscription we learn that the latter married his daughter, whose name has been read Gan ul, and who dedicates the plate to the god En-Girsu for the life of her husband, who is styled patesi of Sirpurra. This ruler's name occurs on other objects, inter alia on a door socket of diorite, published by Ledrain (‘Revue Critique, 1883, ii. 220), which is dedicated to the goddess Bau. Again, there is a signet cylinder, dating from his reign, in the British Museum, and which belonged to a man called Hashimir (who, be it noted, bears a Semitic name), and who calls himself patesi of the town of Ishkun Sin, and describes himself as the subject or follower of Urbau. The name of the Sun-god, as given in this name, i.e. Sin, is its northern form, and points to this place having been in Northern Babylonia. It possibly answered to the later Isin or Nisin. We learn from the inscription of Nabonidus already quoted, that Urbau was succeeded by his son Dungi or Dunginna, a name formerly written Ilgi, who completed some of the buildings
his father had begun, and notably the great pyramid tower at
ART. IV.-1. Rembrandt. Sa Vie, son (Euvre, et son Temps. Par Emile Michel. 1 vol. Paris, 1893. 2. Rembrandt. His Life, his Work, and his Time. By Emile Michel. Translated from the French by Florence Simmonds. Edited by Frederick Wedmore. 2 vols. London, 1894. 3. Rembrandt. Sa Vie et ses CEuvres. Par C. Vosmaer. La Haye, 1877. 4. Catalogue raisonné de toutes les Estampes de Rembrandt. Par Adam Bartsch. Leipzig, 1797. Reprint 1880. (Bartsch's Catalogue arranged in the order of subjects.) 5. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Etched Work of Rembrandt van Rijn. By Charles Henry Middleton. London, 1878. (Middleton's Catalogue arranged in chronological order.)
HE recent appearance, first as a French edition and then in an English form, of M. Émile Michel's volume on the ‘Life and Work of Rembrandt’ has already, to some extent, had the effect of increasing the steadily growing interest entertained by all lovers of Art in the painted and etched work of the artist. It is not sufficient to describe Rembrandt as the greatest master of the Northern School; his personality and his genius are so closely interwoven that a picture believed to be by his hand, or a choice early state of one of his finer etchings, assumes for us a special interest. While, we carefully study the character and treatment of the composition, we ask ourselves to what period of his career it may be assigned ; what reference it may have to some event in the history of his life; what peculiarity it may possess which connects it more directly with himself, or with those with whom he was most intimately connected. There is no other artist in whom the realistic tendency, so characteristic of the school of the Netherlands, has shown such remarkable and original results; none whose reputation, even from very early days, though perhaps not in his own lifetime, has enjoyed such unrivalled influence; and there are few artists whose personal history in recent years has been more carefully written, or whose painted and engraved work has been
more exhaustively described and more accurately catalogued. We say “in recent years,’ for the history of Rembrandt's Life and Art, as it is treated by his earliest biographers, is so imperfect and so frequently misleading, that the labours of later writers have been devoted not so much to establish their facts as to disprove their fallacies. Modern researches have shown that this unappreciative recognition was not universal. Thus Huijgens, in an autographic memoir (discovered in 1891 by Dr. J. A. Worp, of Gröningen, while engaged on a new edition of of the poet's works), when recording his recollections of the rising artists of the day, refers in eloquent terms to Rembrandt's astonishing precocity. After comparing him with Lievens, for whom he entertained an almost equal admiration, he tells us that “one of these two youths is the son of a mere artisan, an embroiderer of curtains; the other,’ as he humorously observes, “is the son of a miller, but made of other flour than his father.’ He adds that “their masters are obscure and mediocre artists, for the modest means of their parents could afford them no better instructors,' and goes on to describe in glowing language a picture, one of Rembrandt's earliest paintings, long lost, but which M. Michel has lately had the felicity to discover, “Judas returning to the High Priest the Price of Betrayal.' The whole passage referred to by M. Michel is well worthy of
perusal. Four years after the completion of this picture of “Judas, in 1628, Rembrandt's reputation as a portrait painter had become so widely extended, that from 1632 to 1634, besides studies of himself and of members of his family, he had at least forty portraits in hand. Yet, as we now know his history, he was neither then nor at any other time popular among his fellowcountrymen. His life, like his painting, was full of light and shadow. He had personal qualities which rendered him worthy of regard; he was the friend and associate of Huijgens and of Tulp, of Uytenbogaert and of Six; he was intimate with Sylvius; he married a charming girl of good social position; he enjoyed more than a mere acquaintance with Anslo, with Manasseh Ben Israel, and with Decker. But for some reason, even in the days preceding his misfortunes, he was not generally appreciated among the good people of Amsterdam, either as an artist or as a citizen. After that unhappy time he was even less regarded; his marvellous power as a portrait painter was necessarily acknowledged, but the man himself seems to have
assed into comparative obscurity.
The truth is, as Vosmaer has clearly shown, that Rembrandt cared nothing for display and mercenary distinction. “When I desire,’ said he, “to rest my mind, it is not honour that I seek, but freedom.” The words reveal the man, and throw a light upon the remarks of Sandraat, himself an artist, and for three years resident in Amsterdam, from 1638 to 1641. In his “Lives of the Painters,’ published at Nuremburg in 1675, he speaks somewhat slightingly of Rembrandt, as a man capable of producing simple work, but never inspired by subjects from poetry or history. Referring to the causes of his misfortunes and want of popularity, he tells us that if Rembrandt had known known better how to conduct his own affairs, if he had been more impressionable, more careful to conceal his opinions, and adapt himself to the conventionalities of society, he would have gained in social position as well as have increased in wealth. The artist-world could not sympathise with one who called no man master, who preferred rules of his own to all the teaching of the Schools; and the higher, and in this instance the more intellectual class, were offended because he showed no anxiety to enter their ranks. *
Wosmaer also reminds us that Wondel, then esteemed the chief poet of Holland, who had no praise too great to bestow upon Lievens and Koninck, upon Govaert Flinck and Quellinus— each of whom had more than once painted his portrait—who speaks of Lastman, not as Huijgens had done, as “an obscure and mediocre artist, but as ‘the Apelles of the century,’ who acknowledges that his own superb tragedy of ‘Joseph at Doohan’ was inspired by the scene pictured by Pinas, once only refers to Rembrandt," and then in terms of faintest commendation. Orlers again, the historian of Leyden, writing ten years after the appearance of the “Lesson in Anatomy’ and while the so-called ‘Night Watch' was in progress, devotes but a single page to the artist whom we now recognize as the almost unapproachable master in the School of Holland. The impression conveyed by the reminiscences of Hoogstraaten— ‘Inleyding tot de Hooghe School der Schilderkonst, Rotterdam, 1678–is only less unsatisfactory. Although at one time with Rembrandt as a pupil, he tells us little or nothing of the master's social or domestic life, but refers to his freedom from theoretic rules of art, to the attention he bestowed on the colouring and modelling of flesh, and to his inimitable management of light and shade. Fifty years later Houbraken enters the field, and, while content to utilize for his unveracious records a strange diversity of improbable tradition and evident untruth, all the time affects such intimate acquaintance with even the pettiest details that he tells of ‘the red herring and the piece of cheese’ which formed the relish of Rembrandt's daily repast. The result is that, until recent years, the tale of Rembrandt's life and art has been practically
* Among the numerous painted or etched portraits executed by Rembrandt thore is not one in which we can recognize the likeness of Wondel. In the collection of the late Mr. Jacob de Vos, dispersed by sale at Amsterdam in 1883, Was a drawing, ‘Largement esquissé à la sanguine et à la plume, puis terminé at lavis de bistre,’ described as a portrait of the poet. This drawing, a Very precious one, at one time in the Ploos van Amstel Collection, is not, 9Never, a portrait of Wondel, but is, as Vosmaer has suggested, a study of Ephraim Bonus.