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general. They are great people the Futurists. Tennyson might thus have anticipated them in Locksley Hall :
For they dip into the future, far as humid eye can see,
Paint queer visions of the world, and all the wonders of D.T. They must be seen to be enjoyed. But they too will ‘have their day'—they'll ' have their day and cease to be,' and the lively old painters, and tired young ones, may 'go in' for it, but they do so at their peril. But, knowing the pain and danger, too, of painting Nature with truth– Nature' in the sense in which we have been speaking-we hesitate to recommend it. It is too drastic, and would doubtless kill a lot of fine fellows, and be too great a drain on the funds of the Artists' Benevolent Society. So, after this long round, we are forced into the position of asking once more ‘Is Art a failure?'
Is Art a failure? The question is preposterous, of course; and yet that is virtually what the Post-Futurists and other men of modern movements are thrusting upon us, in the hope, doubtless, that they may be taken seriously. We have seen their efforts referred to as 'modern aspirations,' and as a 'shaking of the dry bones.' In old-fashioned, early Edwardian days, days before the virus cinema had got into our blood, we had a mild form of entertainment called the negro minstrels. The wild man who did most of the clowning also went in for violent shaking of dry bones; but he was often amusing, and was sometimes even wise, in his own way. The analogy therefore is not quite complete—but there it is. Art may be a failure as far as giving an accurate representation of Life and Nature goes; that is, as phenomenon pure and simple (and we have surely proved and insisted on this with a spiteful sort of relish sufficient to satisfy the most exacting iconoclast), but Art can suggest and hint at Nature in a very satisfying way, and thus give us the greatest and most refined of pleasures. In the past she has been one long and triumphant success. Nation upon nation has arisen and grown great, then vanished like a wreath of smoke and left nothing behind but the remnants of their Art. From the Art of these nations, in one form or another, we have been able to gauge the degree and quality of their culture and civilisation. We have no other means of judging it, in fact. Doubtless it will be the same with ourselves in turn, and other races of mankind--widely different from ourselves, perhaps-will weigh and sum us up in the self-same way. Were we to cast the mind's eye over the wide range calmly, and without too much bias against ourselves, we would have no reason to fear the verdict. In their own relations, and in their own English way, we have as great a race of artists as the world has ever seen. We may not have dived very deeply into the science of appearances, but all the same we have now living amongst us a goodly number of artists that would do credit to any age whatever.
Nor are they all outside the Academy, as some disappointed ones are apt to say. It may be a difficult thing for some safety-loving worshipper of old masters to believe, but many old masters of the future are quietly working beside us, and what we think, what we feel, and what we are, will be passed on by them to other ages and other races of men, as surely as the coming of to-morrow's dawn. We have carefully considered the case of the Post-Futurists, and have, moreover, propounded a problem for them-and any others whom it may concern, which we heartily recommend. If they desire anything difficult, anything quite awfully original, and yet on sound and permanent lines, let them try it. We wish them all success.
In the meantime we will not give up Art for Post-Futurism, but will stick to her through thick and thin. So hie we to the National Gallery to stand before Rembrandt and his fellowaristocrats of Art and banish all the present-day chatter in absorbing admiration. But there is a baneful note attending these great works now, which is far from artistic, but is not to be ignored. One cannot help wondering, as one stands before them, what pranks some mighty lord might not be tempted to play with them if he had the chance. Also what unimaginable price some American will actually pay for them when our country has 'gone to the dogs.' (For it is going to the dogs for certain, and shortly too. We had it from a good authority-a politician in a big way, and one who is in a position to know.) Unfortunately, this class of picture has become the most effective wealthadvertising medium in the world. However, the pictures are all right, and Post-Futurism would be a sorry substitute for them, we should think. Nor shall we glory in artistic snobbery ånd prate only to the old masters, but will see great Art even in the newest painted. We will wend our way to the Academy in the good old way-even try to 'spot 'the picture of the yearand admire anew the wonderful outdoor studies of Sargent. (How we miss his portraits !) The noble landscape of Arnesby Brown; the style and old-English grace of Shannon's portraits; the cool, limpid, and exquisite colour of Clausen's larger picture; the graceful fantasia of Charles Sims (a difficult art to make convincing, and requiring many gifts). Also the extraordinary and powerful picture by Mr. Strang, the commonplace lifted into the region of great Art! These, and many more we will enjoy, without distraction at the thought that these fine artists are still here, and are not yet the sport of dealers, lords, and millionaires. That the pictures are newly painted will not affect our estimateor our pleasure.
There is no old,
THE PROTECTION OF THE INDIAN
My personal experience of India dates back to the close of the nineteenth century, and has not been renewed since then; but from a variety of books and articles which have since been published, I am led to believe that one among the multitudinous charms and sources of interest in the scenery of that Empirethe abundance of wild beasts and birds in the landscapeshas since been materially diminished. A railway or a road journey through almost any part of India in 1895 was of absorbing interest to the naturalist or to anyone who experienced an aesthetic pleasure in the contemplation of strange and beautiful forms of animal life. From the windows of a railway carriage in the not-too-rapidly-moving train, or from the shaded shelter of some bullock-cart, the greater comfort of a landau or victoria, the unhampered purview of a dog-cart, one might see the sleek blue nilghai tragelaphs plunging into the dense jungle from the open pasture by the roadside, or stopping for a moment to stare with their giraffe-like eyes. Herds of hog deer, and perhaps some splendid buck of the Axis species—its deep red coat splashed and spotted with vivid white-browsed in many a forest clearing quite regardless of the passing train, and not much disturbed even by the trotting of a pony. By every tank and watercourse stood the tall, grey Sarus cranes or the white, red-faced cranes, in close proximity to natives who were washing their bodies or their clothes. Many a meadow was snowy with the Paddy-birds—the small white herons that frequent the oxen or the buffaloes to relieve them of their persecuting flies and ticks. Every now and again from the train, as it passed through solitudes little disturbed by man, one saw the pea-fowl flapping in undulating flight over the bamboos and palm scrub. In the open, arid plains herds of black buck-a few black-and-white males to a number of redand-white females-alternately browsed and lifted their heads to measure the distance that separated them from a possible enemy.
The wealth of bird life—as displayed to the eyeexceeded anything I have ever met with in the wildest parts of Africa (with the exception here and there of great assemblages
of water-fowl for which African rivers, swamps, and lakes were once famous). One of the most beautiful features about that superbly beautiful city Agra is, or was, the flocks of green and rose-colour parrakeets, which frequented the vicinity of the old marble palaces in such numbers as really to colour the landscape. Farther south the blossom-headed parrakeets, in their colonies on the outskirts of the woodlands near Bombay, made a picture of grass-green and peach colour against sombre brown and black-green not readily to be forgotten. Many of the Indian cities had their tribes or families of cream-white, blackfaced monkeys, or monkeys of satanic blackness in fur and face. Even a brief summary of the patent examples of the Indian fauna displayed in the jungle, the forest, on the open plain, in and around the habitations of man, would occupy at least ten pages of this Review. Journeys of somewhat greater difficulty and more off the beaten track on the slopes of the Himalayas in Kashmir or Assam, would at that time still have shown the tourist (with little or no danger to himself, or with only that amount of risk which is involved by some degree of Alpine climbing) black bears, sloth bears, and isabelline bears, rough-coated gazelles, ibexes, markhor, and sheep with colossal horns; and at lower levels have given him the very possible chance of seeing a tiger. The amazing pheasants of Assam and Burma, and of the Malay Peninsula, were still common, not to say abundant.
But the change which has taken place since 1895 has, if I rightly appreciate the facts to be gathered from the variety of books, reports, and articles in scientific periodicals issued in the United States, India, and England, been a woeful one from the point of view of those who are deeply interested in the preservation of fauna and flora': interested, it may be, from several points of view, or along some particular line. Some there are among us who plead for the retention of beasts and birds in our landscapes, of remarkable trees and plants, solely because of their beauty or the intellectual stimulus aroused by their strangeness of form, the mystery of their origin. Others, again, point to the economic value of many beasts and birds, and even of reptiles, fish, and certain insects, and of many among the multitudinous trees and plants of the tropics which through ignorant destruction are nearing extinction. Another category of persons who desire legislation for the protection of beasts and birds-more especially birds (and I might add, freshwater fish)—bases its arguments on the unwisdom of our destroying allies in the tremendous battle against the diseases caused by microscopic animals and parasitic worms; or the insects, ticks, and molluscs, which act as germ-carriers in the spread of such parasites-parasites that not only directly destroy man himself by