Van Dyck Percy M. Turner

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39 pages


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Van Dyck  by  Percy M. Turner

Van Dyck by Percy M. Turner
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No painter has remained more consistently in favour with both artists and the public than Van Dyck. His art marks the highest achievement of Flanders of the seventeenth century. In making this statement the claims of Rubens have not been overlooked,MoreNo painter has remained more consistently in favour with both artists and the public than Van Dyck.

His art marks the highest achievement of Flanders of the seventeenth century. In making this statement the claims of Rubens have not been overlooked, although the latter has been, and probably will always be, considered the head of the Flemish school.It is perhaps not too much to say that Van Dyck possessed in a greater measure than Rubens those qualities which go to make a great artist. We can never overlook the seniority of the latter, and to him will always belong the credit of having evolved the style which revolutionised the art of a nation, and there is no doubt that the pupil owed to him much of the knowledge he so well utilised in after-life.In comparing those two great men it would be well, at first, to rid ourselves of the confusion which often arises through the application of the terms artist and painter.

In relation to painting they are only too often considered synonymous, but a little consideration will show us that a man whose technical abilities are of a high order need not necessarily be a great artist. In fact, one of the most truthful charges urged against the best contemporary art is that it demonstrates an astonishing poverty of invention, a lack of message, if you will, coupled with an extraordinarily highly developed technique.

To screen as much as possible the dilemma in which he finds himself, many a modern painter has recourse to creating those outbursts of meaningless eccentricity that are so familiar upon the walls of our exhibitions. It is true that some few of the men who are living to-day are equipped almost, if not quite, as well technically as the great majority of the old masters.

In a word, they could meet them on nearly equal terms as painters, but they lack invention and conception in which to bring their powers into legitimate play, and consequently they cannot rank with them as artists.



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