Belgium – Antwerp Picture Gallery – The Rubens Room

NOW, go straight through Rooms H, F, and E, to three rooms en suite, the last of which is Room A, containing the Transitional Pictures. (It is usual to skip these insipid works of the intermediate age, and to jump at once from the School of Van Eyck to the School of Rubens — I think unwisely — for Rubens himself can only properly be appreciated as the product of an evolution, by the light of the two main influences which affected him —’his Flemish masters, and his Italian models, Veronese and Giulio Romano.) Be-gin at the far end, near the lettered doorway, and note throughout the effort to imitate Italian art; the endeavour at classical knowledge; and the curious jumble of Flemish and Tuscan ideas. But the Flemish skill in portaiture still continues.

698. Good portrait of Giles van Schoonbeke by P. Pourbus.

Next to it, 103, Martin De Vos, the Elder : St. Anthony the Abbot, accompanied by his pig and bell, and his usual tempters, burying the body of St. Paul the Hermit, whose grave two lions are digging. To the right, hideous Flemish devils, grotesquely horrible. Above, phases of the Temptation f St. Anthony.

372. Michael Coxcie : Martyrdom of St. George — one f his tortures. Good transitional work, inspired by Italian feeling.

72. M. De Vos : Triptych, painted for the altar of the Guild of Crossbowmen in the Cathedral. Centre, Triumph of the risen Christ. In the foreground, St. Peter (keys), and St. Paul (sword), with open pages of their writings. Left, St. George, patron of the Crossbowmen, with his banner and armour; right, St. Agnes with her lamb. Left panel, Baptism of Constantine by St. Sylvester. Right panel, Constantine ordering the erection of the Church f St. George at Constantinople. In the sky, the apparition of Our Lady to the Emperor. A gigantic work, recalling the later Italian Renaissance, especially the Schools of Bronzino and Giulio Romano.

374. Michael Coxcie : Martyrdom of St. George; the other wing of the same triptych in honour of St. George as 372; central portion lost.

89. M. De Vos: St. Conrad of Ascoli, a Franciscan friar, in devout contemplation of the founder of his Order, St. Francis, receiving the Stigmata. Around it, small scenes from the life f St. Conrad, unimportant. Below, Devotion at the tomb f St. Conrad : royal personages praying, offerings of rich images, and the sick healed by his relics. A curious picture of frank corpse-worship.

699. Good portrait by Pourbus.

576. Triptych, unknown. St. Eligius of Noyon (St. Eloy), one of the apostles f Brabant, preaching to a congregation really composed of good local portraits. (A pious way of having oneself painted.) Right and left, St. Eligius feeding prisoners, and St. Eligius healing the sick.

741. Another of Bernard van Orley’s General Resurrections, the type of which will now be familiar to you. In the centre, strangely introduced group of portraits of the donors, engaged in burying a friend, whose memory this triptych was doubtless intended to commemorate. On either wing, the six works of Mercy (the seventh, burial, is in the main picture).

7. Good transitional triptych, by M. De Vos, for the Guild of Leather-dressers. Centre, The Incredulity f St. Thomas. On the wings, Scenes from the life of the Baptist. Left, Baptism f Christ; where note the persistence of the little symbolical Jordan, with angels almost inconspicuous. Right, The Decollation of St. John. Salome receiving his head in a charger. In the background, Herodias.

37I. Coxcie the Younger : Martyrdom of St. Sebastian, patron saint of Bowmen, from their altar in the Cathedral. An attempt to be very Italian. The wings of this triptych are by Francken. Left, St. Sebastian exhorting Marcus and Marcellinus to go to martyrdom. Right, St. Sebastian miraculously healing the dumb woman, with portrait spectators, in dress of the period, deeply interested.

Now go on into Room B (unlettered, the centre of the three). It contains works of an earlier period.

The left wall is entirely occupied by three large panels of a fine old Flemish fifteenth century picture, attributed to Memling (and apparently accepted as his by Lafenestre), representing * Christ Enthroned, with orb and cross, surrounded by choirs of angels; those in the central panel singing ; the others, playing various musical instruments. This is a beautiful work, but less pleasing than those of the same school on a smaller scale. It has been recently bought from the monastery of Najera in Spain. It was intended, I think, to be seen at a height, probably on an organ-loft, and loses by being placed so near the eye of the spectator.

The opposite wall, on the right, is occupied by 245, Quentin Matsys’s masterpiece, the triptych of the Entombment, painted for the altar of the Guild of Cabinet-makers. The colouring is much more pleasing than in the Family of St. Anne at Brussels. Central panel, The Entombment. Nicodemus supports the emaciated body f the dead Saviour, while Joseph of Arimathea wipes the marks of the crown of thorns from his head. The worn body itself, with a face of pathetic suffering, lies on the usual white sheet in the foreground. At the foot, Mary Magdalen, with her pot f ointment and long fair hair, strokes the body tenderly. In the centre is the fainting Ma-donna, supported, as always, by St. John, in his red robe. Behind are the three Maries. The usual attendant (a ruffianly Fleming, in a queer turban-like cap) holds the crown of thorns. At the back, preparations for the actual placing in the sepulchre. In the background, Calvary.

The wings have scenes from the lives of the two St. Johns. The left wing, the daughter of Herodias, a very mincing young lady, in a gorgeous dress, brings the head of St. John the Baptist on a charger to her mother and a fiercely-bearded Herod. The queen appears to be about to carve it. Above, a gallery of minstrels. Admirable drapery and accessories. The right wing has the so-called Martyrdom of St. John the Evangelist, in the cauldron of boiling oil, with a delightful boy spectator looking on in a tree. The Emperor Domitian (older than history), on a white horse, behind. Flemish varlets stir the fire lustily. This noble work originally decorated the altar in the Chapel of the Menuisiers of Antwerp in the Cathedral.

On easels, 649, Claeissens : Triptych f the Crucifixion, with the Way to Calvary and the Resurrection. Elongated, attenuated figures.

680. Giles Mostaert (the elder) : Singular complex picture, painted for the Hospital of Antwerp; representing, above, The General Resurrection : Christ enthroned between Our Lady and St. John-Baptist. Beneath, naked souls rising from the tomb. To the left, St. Peter welcomes the just at the gate of the Celestial City. To the right, devils drive the wicked into the gaping jaws f Hell. Beneath, the courses that lead to either end : the Seven Works of Mercy, inspired by the Redeemer,. and the Seven Deadly Sins, suggested by devils. I will leave you to identify them (it is easy).

Go on into Room D, containing more works of the Transition. These large altar-pieces of the early seventeenth century, the period of the greatest wealth in Antwerp, though often frigid, as works of art, are at least interesting as showing the opulence and the tastes of the Antwerp guilds during the epoch of the Spanish domination. They are adapted to the huge Renaissance churches then erected, as the smaller triptychs of the fifteenth century were adapted to the smaller Gothic altars.

529. Feast of Archers, with the King of the Archers enthroned in the background.

694 697. Tolerable portraits by Pourbus.

678. Frans Floris : St. Luke painting, with his bull most realistically assisting, and his workman grinding his colours. From the old Academy of Painters, whose patron was St. Luke. Italian influence.

135. Ambrose Francken : Loaves and fishes.

148. The same. Decollation of St. Cosmo and St. Damian : painted for the Guild of Physicians, of whom these were the patron saints.’

357 A splendid and luminous Titian, in the curious courtly ceremonial manner of the Venetian painters. Pope Alexander VI. (Borgia), in a beautiful green dalmatic, introducing to the enthroned St. Peter his friend, Giovanni Sforza da Pesaro, Bishop of Paphos, and admiral f the Pope’s fleet. At the bishop’s feet lies his helmet, to show his double character as priest and warrior. He grasps the banner of the Borgias and of the Holy Church. In the background (to show who he is), the sea and fleet. St. Peter’s red robe is splendid. The Venetians frequently paint similar subjects, — ” Allow me to introduce to your Sainthood,” etc. This is a fine work in Titian’s early harder manner, still some-what reminiscent of the School of Bellini. Its glorious but delicate colour comes out all the better for the crudity of the works around it.

146. Ambrose Francken : St. Cosmo and St. Damian, the Doctor Saints, amputating an injured leg, and replacing it by the leg of a dead Moor. In the background, other episodes of their profession. (Wing of the triptych for the Guild of Physicians.)

83. M. De Vos : Triptych, painted for the Guild of the Mint, and allusive to their functions. Centre, The Tribute Money. ” Render unto Caesar,” etc., with tempting Pharisees and Sadducees, and Roman soldiers. In the foreground, St. Peter in blue and yellow, with his daughter Petronilla. Left wing : Peter, similarly habited, finds the tribute money in the fish’s mouth. Right wing : The Widow’s Mite. (The French titles, “Le Denier de César,” ” Le Denier du Tribut,” ” Le Denier de la Veuve,” bring out the allusion better.)

88. M. De Vos : St. Luke painting Our Lady, with his bull, as ever, in attendance. The wings by others. Left, St. Luke preaching. Right, St. Paul before Felix. From the altar f the (painters’) Confraternity of St. Luke in the Cathedral.

113. Frans Floris : Adoration of the Shepherds. Note persistence f formal elements from old School, with complete transformation of spirit.

112, Frans Floris’s horrible St. Michael conquering the devils ; the most repulsive picture by this repulsive and exaggerated master.

Right and left of it, good late Flemish portraits of donors.

663. Floris : Judgment of Solomon.

483. Portrait of Van Veen, Rubens’s master.

Room E contains chiefly works of the School of Rubens, most of which can now be satisfactorily comprehended by the reader without much explanation. I will therefore treat them briefly.

265. Murillo (Spanish School). St. Francis. A reminiscence of the older subject of his receiving the Stigmata. It has the showy and affected pietism of the Spaniards. A mere study.

439. An Adoration, by Van Mol, and 82. A Nativity, by De Vos, can be instructively compared with earlier examples.

775. Fine unknown Flemish portrait.

57. Good seventeenth century landscape. 722 and 724. Capital portraits.

655. Another Last Judgment. Beyond, good fruit and flower-pieces by * Seghers (framing an Ignatius Loyola) and De Rijng.

660, 661. Tolerable portraits by Cocx.

726. Teniers the Younger : The Duet.

Beyond this, several small Flemish works, of which 348 and 728 are specially noteworthy.

712. Rubens: St. Dominic.

642. Attributed to Brueghel: Paying tithes. Still life, etc.

Room F contains nothing which the reader cannot adequately understand for himself. Omit Room G for the present (it contains the Dutch Masters), and turn instead into Room H, mostly devoted to works of the School of Rubens.

End Wall, 305. Rubens : The Last Communion of the dying St. Francis of Assisi. A famous work, in unusually low tones of colour — scarcely more than chiaroscuro. St. Francis, almost nude, is supported by his friars. Above, angels, now reduced to cherubs, wait to convey his soul to Heaven. Painted for the attar of St. Francis in the Franciscan Church f the Récollets. See it from the far end of the room, where it becomes much more luminous.

On either side, 662, good portrait by S. De Vos (himself, dashing and vigorous : every inch an artist) : and 706, admirable portrait by Rubens of Gaspard Gevaerts, town secretary. The bust is Marcus Aurelius.

Left Wall, 109. Fine portrait of a well-fed Flemish merchant, William van Meerbeck, by C. De Vos. Behind him his patron, St. William.

403. Van Dyck’s Entombment (or Pietà), often called Descent from the Cross. This is one of his noblest pictures, but badly restored.

335. Angry swans disturbed by ‘dogs. Snyders.

215. Jordaens : Last Supper. The effect of gloom somewhat foreshadows Rembrandt.

401. Van Dyck : A Dominican picture (Guiffrey calls it ” cold and empty “), painted at his father’s dying wish for the Dominican Nunnery at Antwerp. The two great saints of the Order, St. Dominic, the founder, and St. Catherine of Assisi, the originator f the female branch, stand at the foot of the Cross, which is itself a secondary object in the picture. St. Dominic looks up in adoration ; St. Catherine, wearing the crown of thorns, fervently embraces the feet of the Saviour. On the base, a child angel, in a high unearthly light, with a half-extinguished torch, points with hope to the figure of the crucified Lord. The whole is emblematic of belief in a glorious Resurrection, through the aid of the Dominican prayers. Interesting inscription on the rock : ” Lest earth should weigh too heavily on his father’s soul, A. van Dyck rolled this stone to the foot of the Cross, and placed it in this spot.”

677. Jordaens Charming family scene, known by the title of ” As sing the Old, so pipe the Young.” Three generations — grand-parents, parents, and children — engaged in music together. Very catching : a most popular picture.

734. Good portrait of a priest, by Van Dyck.

402. Fine portrait f a bishop of Antwerp, by Van Dyck.

708. One of the best portraits by Rubens in the Gallery : subject unknown : lacks personal dignity, but Rubens has made the most of him.

This room also contains several other excel-lent works of the School f Rubens or his more or less remote followers, which I need not particularize.

Now continue into Room I, containing what are considered to be the gems among the Rubenses and the later pictures.

Right of the door, Schut, 327: The Beheading of St. George. A pagan priest, behind, endeavours to make him worship an image of Apollo. Above, angels wait to convey his soul to Heaven.. This is a somewhat confused picture, with a spacious composition and a fine luminous foreground ; it is considered its painter’s masterpiece. Intended for the altar of the Archers (whose patron was St. George), in Antwerp Cathedral.

Beneath it, 644. P. Brueghel the Younger A village merrymaking (” Kermesse Flamande “) with more than the usual vulgarity of episode.

673. Good still life by Gysels.

669. F. Francken : Portraits of a wealthy family in their own picture gallery.

107. C. De Vos : Portraits f the Snoek family, in devotion to St. Norbert. This picture requires a little explanation. St. Norbert was the Catholic antagonist of the heretic Tankelin at Antwerp in the twelfth century. In this frankly anachronistic picture the Snoek family of the seventeenth century, portly, well-fed burghers, are represented restoring to the mediæval saint the monstrance and other church vessels removed from his church during the Calvinist troubles. The Snoeks are living personages ; the Saint is envisaged as a heavenly character. It is, in short, a highly allegorical picture of the family showing their devotion to true Catholicism, and their detestation of current heresy. In the background stands the town of Antwerp, with the Cathedral and St. Michael. (From the burial chapel of the Snoek family at St. Michael.) There is a Brueghel in Brussels Museum, representing t. Norbert preaching against Tankelin.

Beyond the door, unnumbered, fine farm-yard scene by Rubens, with the story of the Prodigal Son in the foreground. One of the many” signs of his extraordinary versatility.

464. Van Dyck : Pietà, altar-piece for a chapel of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows. Our Lady holds on her lap the dead Christ, while St. John points out with his finger the wound in His hand to pitying angels. All the formal elements in this scene — Our Lady, St. John, the angels, etc. — belong to the earlier conception f the Pietà, but all have been entirely transfigured by Van Dyck in accordance partly with the conceptions of the School of Rubens, though still more with his own !peculiar imagination. It is interesting, however, to note in this touching and beautiful picture, full of deep feeling, how far the type of the St. John has been inherited, remotely, from the School of Van der Weyden. Even the red robe and long hair persist. The features, too, are those with which we are familiar. This is one of the gems of the collection. It shows the direct influence of Italian travel modifying Van Dyck’s style, acquired from Rubens.

Beyond, on either side of the great Rubens, to be noticed presently, are two pictures by his master, Otto van Veen : 480, The Calling of Matthew, and 479, Zacchæus in the Fig-Tree. These two careful works recall the later Italian Schools, more particularly Titian, and are good examples of that careful academic transitional Flemish art which Rubens was to transform and revivify by the strength of his own exuberant and powerful personality. They are admirably placed here for comparison with

297. Rubens’s famous altar-piece of the Crucifixion, for the Church of the Franciscans, commonly known as the ** Coup de Lance. In this splendid work Rubens is seen in one of his finest embodiments. (” Incoherent,”) says Fromentin.) The figure of the dying Christ has fine virility. St. Longinus, to the left, of a white horse, is in the very act of piercing his side. The Magdalen, embracing the foot of the Cross, as ever, throws up her arms with supplicating gesture. To the right are the Madonna in blue, and St. John in red, as always. Behind, a soldier is engaged in breaking the limbs of the Impenitent Thief (always on Christ’s left) who writhes in his torture. The whole work is full of Rubens’s life and bustle well contrasted with the academic calm f the Van Veens beside it. Even those who do not love Rubens (and I confess I am f them) must see in such a work as this how his great powers succeeded in effects at which his contemporaries aimed ineffectually. Boldly dramatic, but not sacred.

300. Triptych by Rubens, commonly known as the Christ à la Paille, painted for a tomb in the Cathedral (compare the Moretus one): In the centre is a Pieta: Joseph of Arimathea supporting the dead body f the Christ on the edge of a stone covered with straw, Behind, Our Lady and another Mary, with the face of St. John just appearing in the background. This ” too famous ” work is rather a study f the dead nude than a really sacred picture. Some f its details overstep the justifiable limits of horror. The wings are occupied by (the left), a so-called Madonna and Child, really a portrait of a lady and boy — (his wife and son?) : (the right), St. John the Evangelist (patron of the person for whose tomb it was painted), accompanied by his eagle.

104. C. De Vos : Admirable and lifelike portrait of the messenger or porter of the Guild of St. Luke, the Society of Painters of Antwerp, exhibiting the plate belonging to his confraternity. He is covered with medals, which are the property f the Society, and has the air of a shrewd and faithful servant. This living presentment of a real man is deservedly popular.

171. J. Fyt : Excellent screaming eagles, with a dead duck. One of the earliest and best presentations of wild life at home.

The rest of this wall is occupied by some tolerable gigantic altar-pieces and other good works f the School of Rubens. Most of them derive their chief interest from their evident inferiority in design and colour to the handicraft of the Master. They are the very same thing — with the genius omitted.

End wall, 314, Rubens : called the Holy Trinity. The Almighty supports on His knees the figure of the dead Christ. Behind, hovers the Holy Ghost. On either side, boy angels hold the crown of thorns, the three nails, and the other implements of the Passion. This is really; a study in the science of foreshortening, and in the painting of the dead nude, largely suggested, I believe, by a still more unpleasing Mantegna in the Brera at Milan.

715. Above. Excellent fishmongery by Snyders.

212. Janssens : The Schelde bringing wealth to Antwerp, in the allegorical taste of the period.

172. Fyt : Excellent dogs and game.

299. Rubens : An allegorical picture to enforce the efficacy of the prayers of St. Theresa. The foundress of the Scalzi, dressed in the sober robe of her Carmelite Order, is interceding with Christ for the soul of Bernardiro de Mendoza, the founder of a Carmelite convent at Valladolid. Below, souls in Purgatory. In the left-hand corner stands Bernardino, whom, at St. Theresa’s prayer, angels are helping to escape from torment. A fine luminous picture of a most unpleasing subject. Painted for the altar f St. Theresa in the church of her own barefooted Carmelites.

405. Van Dyck : Magnificent portrait of Cesare Alessandro Scaglia, in black ecclesiastical robes, with lace cuffs and collar, and the almost womanish delicate hands of a diplomatic, astute, courtier-like ecclesiastic. The thoughtful eyes and resolute face might be-long to a Richelieu.

305. Rubens : ** The Education of the Virgin, painted for a chapel of St. Anne. A charming domestic picture f a wealthy young lady of Flanders, pretending to be Our Lady, in a beautifully-painted white silk gown. Beside her, her mother, a well-preserved St. Anne, of aristocratic matronly dignity. Be-hind is St. Joachim, and above, two light little baby angels. The feeling of the whole is graceful courtly-domestic.

53. De Crayer : Elijah fed by ravens. 481, 482. Two scenes from the life of St. Nicholas, by Van Veen, the master of Rubens. On the right, he throws through a window three purses of gold as dowries for the three starving daughters f a poor nobleman. (This ornate treatment contrasts wonderfully with the ,simpler early Italian pictures f the same subject.) On the left, he brings corn for the starving poor of Myra. Both pictures represent the bourgeois saint in his favourite character of the benefactor of the poor. They are here well placed for contrast with

298. Rubens : Adoration of the Magi, considered to be his finest embodiment of this favourite subject, and one f his masterpieces. To the right, Our Lady and Child, with the ox in the foreground, and St. Joseph behind her. To the left, two kings make their offerings. Behind them, the third, a Moor, in an Algerian costume, leering horribly. Above, the ruined temple, the shed, and the camels. M. Max Rooses calls this work ” the chef d’oeuvre by which Rubens inaugurated his third manner,” and other critics praise loudly its gorgeous colouring, its audacious composition, its marvellous certainty. To me, the great canvas, with its hideous ogling Moor, is simply unendurable; but I give the gist of authoritative opinion.

312. Rubens : The Holy Family, known as La Vierge au Perroquet. It is chiefly remarkable as a rich and gorgeous piece of colouring, with a charming nude boy of delicious innocence.

313. Rubens : Crucifixion. One of his best embodiments of this subject.

214. Jordaens : Pharaoh in the Red Sea.

370. Van Cortbemde : The Good Samaritan, pouring in oil and wine in a most literal sense. In the background, the priest and the Levite.

The whole of this room contains several other excellent altar-pieces, many of which are Franciscan. One f the best is 381, Van Hoeck, Madonna and Child, with St. Francis, from the Franciscan Church of the Récollets.

Now enter Room J.

Right and left f door, 105 and I05A, C. De Vos : Portraits of a husband and wife, with their sons and daughters.

315. Rubens : Small copy (with variations) of the Descent from the Cross in the Cathedral (by a pupil).

307. Rubens : Triptych, to adorn a tomb, for the funerary chapel of his friend Rockox. Compare, for size and purpose, the Moretus tomb in the Cathedral. It shows the painter’s early careful manner, and represents in its central piece the Incredulity f St. Thomas. On the Wings, the Burgomaster Nicolas Rockox, and his wife, for whose tomb it was painted. The wings are finer than the central portion. This early work, still recalling Van Veen’s academic tone, should be compared with the Van Veens and also with Rubens’s fine portrait f himself and his brother, with Lipsius and Grotius, in the Pitti at Florence It marks the earliest age, when he was still content with comparatively small sizes, and gave greater elaboration to his work, but without his later dash and vigour. M. Rooses thinks ill of it.

22. Good portraits by Boeyermans.

748. Van Thulden : Continence of Scipio.

709. Rubens, partly made up : Jupiter and Antiope. A mythological subject, treated in a somewhat Italian style, with a quaint little huddling Cupid in the foreground.

Beyond this, three designs by Rubens for Triumphal Cars and Arches, on the occasion of the entry of Ferdinand of Austria in 1635.

406. Van Dyck’s noble Crucifixion, with the sun and moon darkened. One of his most admirable pictures.

Room O contains several good portraits and views of the town and other places, of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, many of them excellent as studies of Old Antwerp, enabling us to appreciate the greatness of the architectural losses which the city has sustained. These, however, are essentially works for the visitor to inspect at his leisure. They need little or no explanation.

Room O, beyond, has a good copy, 413, etc., of the Adoration of the Lamb at Ghent, useful for filling up the gaps in your knowledge, and more readily inspected at leisure and from a nearer point of view than the original. The portraits and battle scenes on the remaining walls need little comment.

Now return to Room G, containing the Dutch Pictures. Many of these are master-pieces of their sort, but need here little save enumeration. The Reformation turned Dutch art entirely upon portraiture, landscape, and domestic scenes. Dutch art is frankly modern.

Right of the door, 768, Van der Velde: Fine landscape, with cows.

773. A fine Wynants.

293. Rembrandt : Admirable portrait of his wife, Saskia; almost a replica of the one at Cassel, perhaps either painted by a pupil, or else from memory after her death, and badly restored. It breathes Dutch modesty.

427. Flowers by Van Huysum.

705. Excellent portrait of a Burgomaster, by Rembrandt.

349. Terburg : Girl playing a mandoline.

628. Unknown : perhaps Frans Hals : Excellent portrait of a calm old lady.

668. Karel du Jardin : Admirable landscape, with cows.

Above it, 188, celebrated and vigorous Fisher-boy of Haarlem, with a basket, by Frans Hals, rapidly touched with the hand of a master.

738. Venus and Cupid, by W. van Mieris. 399. W. van de Velde the younger : Calm sea, with ships.

Beyond the door a number of excellent small pieces, including two good characters by Rembrandt — a beautiful little Wynants, 402, and a charming Schalken, 324.

437. Excellent fishmonger, by W. van Mieris.

319. Rubens and Brueghel : Small copy of the Dead Christ.

382. B. van der Helst : Child with a dog.

338. Jan Steen : Samson and the Philistines, as Jan Steen imaged it.

398. Admirable cows, by A. van de Velde. 466. The Smoker, by A. van Ostade.

767. Admirable calm sea-piece, by Van der Capelle.

679. Some of Molenaer’s peasant folk. 682. Arch and charming portrait, by Mytens.

339. One of Jan Steen’s village merry-makings.

674. Admirable portrait, by Frans Hals, of a round-faced, full-blooded, sensuous Dutch gentleman. Full f dash and vigour.

675. A mill, by Hobbema.

752. Weenix poaching on Hondecoeter’s preserves.

26. Delicate soft landscape, by J.and A. Both.

743. Ruysdael: Waterfall in Norway.

The room is full of other fine and delicately-finished pictures of the Dutch School, f which I say nothing, only because they are of the kind. which are to be appreciated by careful examination, and which do not need explanation or description.

Room K contains Flemish works of the later School of Rubens and the beginning of the decadence.

The remaining rooms of the Gallery have modern pictures, belonging to the historical and to the archaic Schools of Antwerp. These worlds lie without the scope of the present Guides, but many f them are of the highest order of merit, and they well deserve attention both for their own intrinsic excellence and for comparison with the works of the fifteenth and early, sixteenth centuries on which they are based. The paintings of Leys and his followers, in particular, are especially worth consideration in this connection. These painters have, faithfully endeavoured to revert to the principles and methods of the great early Flemish Masters, and though their work has often the almost inevitable faults and failings of a revival, it cannot fail to interest those who have drunk in the spirit of Van Eyck and Memling.