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Henry James in the palace of art : a survey and evaluation of James' aesthetic criteria as shown in his… Thomas, Audrey 1963

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HENRY JAMES I N THE PAIACE OF ART: A SURVEY AND EVALUATION OF JAMES AESTHETIC CRITERIA AS SHCWH I N HIS CRITICISM OF NINETEENTH CENTURY PAINTING 1  by AUDREY GRACE THOMAS B.A., S m i t h C o l l e g e , 1957 A THESIS SUBMITTED I N PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF Master of A r t s i n t h e Department of English We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o t h e required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May,  1963  the  In presenting  this thesis i n partial fulfilment  of  r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an  a d v a n c e d d e g r e e a t the U n i v e r s i t y  of  B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and mission for extensive p u r p o s e s may his  be  L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y  study.  I f u r t h e r agree that  the Head o f my  written  Department  of  permission.  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia,. V a n c o u v e r 8, Canada. Date  Department or  I t i s understood that  c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain w i t h o u t my  per-  c o p y i n g of.' t h i s t h e s i s f o r . s c h o l a r l y  g r a n t e d by  representatives.  the  copying, or  s h a l l not  be  by publi-  allowed  ii ABSTRACT  The purpose o f t h i s t h e s i s i s t o p r o v i d e a g e n e r a l i n t r o d u c t i o n t o t h e s t u d y o f James' a r t c r i t i c i s m , t o e s t a b l i s h h i s a e s t h e t i c c r i t e r i a and t o i n d i c a t e t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between h i s t h e o r y o f a r t and t h e themes o f h i s f i c t i o n . F i r s t , I have i n c l u d e d an a n a l y s i s o f t h r e e s t o r i e s c o n c e r n i n g t h e a r t i s t and h i s c r a f t : "The Madonna o f t h e F u t u r e , " "The L i a r , " and "The R e a l T h i n g . " Drawing c e r t a i n c o n c l u s i o n s a s t o James  1  v i e w o f t h e n a t u r e o f a r t and t h e n a t u r e and f u n c t i o n o f t h e  a r t i s t , I have then proceeded t o examine h i s most i m p o r t a n t  statements  on n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y p a i n t i n g . A l t h o u g h t h i s i s o n l y a s m a l l p o r t i o n o f h i s many comments on n o t o n l y t h e a r t o f p a i n t i n g b u t a l l t h e F i n e A r t s , I have l i m i t e d my d i s c u s s i o n t o p a i n t i n g f o r t h e sake o f b r e v i t y and c l a r i t y , and t o t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y because James i s a n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y n o v e l i s t . I have attempted  t o show h i s amazing  percep-  t i o n o f t h e v a r i o u s a e s t h e t i c movements o f h i s time and h i s sympathe t i c a t t i t u d e towards t h e many p i t f a l l s i n t o w h i c h t h e a r t i s t s o f the n i n e t e e n t h century f e l l .  I have a l s o t r i e d t o i n d i c a t e  briefly  where James d i f f e r e d f r o m t h e major a r t c r i t i c s o f t h e t i m e , such a s R u s k i n , P a t e r and B a u d e l a i r e . I f e e l t h a t c e r t a i n c o n c l u s i o n s can be drawn from a s t u d y o f James' a r t c r i t i c i s m : one, t h a t i t i s i m p o r t a n t t o any s e r i o u s s t u d y o f h i s n o v e l s ; two, t h a t i t i s c l o s e l y l i n k e d t o c e r t a i n t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y a t t i t u d e s towards t h e n a t u r e o f a r t ; and t h r e e , t h a t t h e a e s t h e t i c t h e o r y out o f w h i c h James i s w o r k i n g has a d i r e c t r e l a t i o n t o  iii both t h e f o r m and c o n t e n t o f h i s n o v e l s . H i s c h a r a c t e r s a r e a c t i n g out his  own s t r u g g l e f o r a compromise between the R e a l and t h e I d e a l , and  his  t h e o r y o f a r t and t h e o r y o f l i f e b e i n g one and t h e same, he f e e l s  t h a t one s h o u l d , i n a c e r t a i n s e n s e , make o f one's l i f e a work o f a r t .  I have n e v e r been a b l e t o c o n v i n c e m y s e l f t h a t James had any deep f e e l i n g f o r the a r t o f p a i n t i n g . H i s t a s t e — h e l i k e d S a r g e n t — w a s t h a t o f the u p p e r - c l a s s gentleman o f h i s t i m e , c l a s s - b o u n d , r a t h e r u n i m a g i n a t i v e . H i s enthusiasm was c o n f i n e d l a r g e l y t o t h e t r a d i t i o n a l l y accepted...and he was o f t e n unable t o s e p a r a t e whatever genuine t a s t e he had f r o m h i s merely s o c i a l p r e j u d i c e s . — C l i f t o n Fadiman i n the Modern L i b r a r y E d i t i o n o f The S h o r t S t o r i e s o f Henry James.  V  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Page 1  INTRODUCTION CHAPTER I : James' P o r t r a i t o f the A r t i s t : "The Madonna o f the F u t u r e , " "The L i a r , " "The R e a l T h i n g . "  26  CHAPTER I I : James i n the Land o f t h e P h i l i s t i n e s : c e n t u r y E n g l i s h a r t and a r t i s t s  41  nineteenth  CHAPTER I I I : James i n t h e Land o f S c i e n c e and S t y l e : n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y F r e n c h a r t and a r t i s t s CHAPTER IV: James i n t h e Brave New World: n i n e t e e n t h American a r t and a r t i s t s  61  century  CHAPTER V: A S m a l l V o i c e and Others: P a t e r , Ruskin and Baudelaire  75  85  CONCLUSION: The Jamesian A e s t h e t i c  108  BIBLIOGRAPHY  121  1  INTRODUCTION  I n 1875 Henry James remarked t h a t " i n t h e P a l a c e o f A r t t h e r e a r e many mansions."''' Three decades l a t e r , i n h i s now famous p r e f a c e t o The P o r t r a i t o f a l a d y , he a s s e r t e d t h a t " t h e house o f f i c t i o n • has i n s h o r t n o t one window, b u t a m i l l i o n . . . . "  To even t h e most  c a s u a l r e a d e r o f James, f o r whom, as f o r N i c k Dormer i n The T r a g i c Muse, " a l l a r t . . . i s one,"^ i t i s obvious t h a t t h e P a l a c e o f A r t and t h e house o f f i c t i o n a r e so c l o s e l y r e l a t e d as t o be n e a r l y i n s e p a r a b l e , o r r a t h e r t h a t they a r e b u i l t  ( a t l e a s t ) , from t h e same  s e t o f b l u e p r i n t s . And f r o m James' l e t t e r s , h i s t r a v e l s k e t c h e s , h i s a r t c r i t i c i s m and h i s n o v e l s t h e m s e l v e s ,  i t i s e q u a l l y obvious  t h a t i h e "master" f e l t h i m s e l f t o be a s c o m f o r t a b l y a t home i n one as i n t h e o t h e r . The s u p e r f i c i a l reasons f o r t h i s a r e many and w e l l known: h i s e a r l y t r i p s abroad when he and young W i l l i a m roamed t h e g r e a t g a l l e r i e s o f Europe r e c e i v i n g i n t h e i r i n f a n t  consciousnesses  what Henry was t o remember a s "a g e n e r a l sense o f g l o r y j " h i s b r o t h e r ' s and h i s own Newport f r i e n d s h i p w i t h t h e American p a i n t e r s W i l l i a m Hunt and John L a F a r g e j t h e i n f l u e n c e and guidance  of Charles  E l i o t N o r t o n , a p r o f e s s o r o f F i n e A r t s a t Harvard and l i f e - l o n g f r i e n d o f John R u s k i n j h i s work as an a r t c r i t i c f o r t h e A t l a n t i c M o n t h l y and t h e N o r t h American Review: a l l o f these f a c t o r s p l a y e d a p a r t i n h i s i n i t i a t i o n i n t o , and e a r l y awareness o f , t h e f a s c i n a t i n g w o r l d o f the p l a s t i c a r t s , the d e l i g h t o f the " p i c t o r i a l . "  2  But t h e r e a r e o t h e r , more s u b t l y p s y c h o l o g i c a l r e a s o n s f o r James' a t t r a c t i o n t o the F i n e A r t s , and  p a r t i c u l a r l y t o the a r t of  p a i n t i n g . James seems t o have been born w i t h a "sense o f the w h i c h i s a l m o s t unique among modern American n o v e l i s t s . The  past" lessons  of the o l d masters were as i m p o r t a n t t o him as t h e y a r e t o T.S. and f o r s i m i l a r r e a s o n s . The  Eliot,  t h i n a i r o f the American c u l t u r a l s c e n e ,  w h i c h made i t so d i f f i c u l t f o r a r t i s t s l i k e James and E l i o t t o b r e a t h e was  the r e s u l t o f a l a c k of t r a d i t i o n , the absence of a " p a s t " i n  any sense of the word. And  James, l i k e E l i o t , had a d e e p - s e a t e d  l i e f t h a t a l a c k o f t r a d i t i o n and  c u l t u r a l c o n t i n u i t y , be i t s o c i a l ,  e t h i c a l or a e s t h e t i c , would l e a d t o p s y c h i c s t e r i l i t y and s t a g n a t i o n . The  Palace  o f A r t was  be-  one  spiritual  p l a c e where James c o u l d  t r a d i t i o n , c o u l d meet i t f a c e t o f a c e , and where he c o u l d ,  find  while  bowing w i t h a d e l i g h t e d sense of r e c o g n i t i o n "among the T i t i a n s , " e x e r c i s e a f a i n t hope t h a t some day  the T i t i a n s might i n c l i n e  l y towards him.  The  were B a l z a c and  Turgenev. From the a r t o f p a i n t i n g as w e l l as  art  slight-  Old M a s t e r s vrere as much h i s s p i r i t u a l f a t h e r s  as  the  o f the n o v e l the young James l e a r n e d the i m p o r t a n c e of compos-  i t i o n , o f s t y l e and  of the s i g n i f i c a n t g e s t u r e . He examined p o r t r a i t s ,  d i s c o v e r i n g i n the b e s t o f them t h a t t h e r e was  a vast difference  between a good l i k e n e s s o r a p r e t t y compliment and  that p a i n t i n g which  t r u l y d e s e r v e d the t i t l e of p o r t r a i t . From l a n d s c a p e he may l e a r n e d the i m p o r t a n c e o f p e r s p e c t i v e and  have  the v a l u e of a c c i d e n t s  l i g h t and shade. I n I t a l i a n Hours, w r i t t e n l a t e i n l i f e , he  of  continu-  a l l y expresses h i s p r e d i l e c t i o n f o r Mannerist p a i n t e r s l i k e Bronzino  3 and Tintoretto, and i t may be that from these men he learned the secret of foreshortening and dramatic irony. The novel, a f t e r a l l , was a comparatively new and undeveloped a r t form, whereas the great panorama of painting stretched back to the e a r l i e s t h i s t o r y of  man.  The a r t of painting had within i t s e l f a sense of the past which the art  of the novel did not have. However that may be, h i s observations  were not i n vain and we come away from h i s greatest novels with, among other things, a series of unforgettable p o r t r a i t s , luminous landscapes and genre f i g u r e s : Christina Light advancing along the paths of the Borghese Gardens with her t e r r i b l e American mother and the very I t a l i a n Cavaliere; Isabel Archer framed i n the doorway at Gardencourt  or surveying her shattered l i f e among the savage splen-  dors of the Roman ruins; t i t i a n - h a i r e d M i l l y Theale resplendent i n white and pearls at her f i r s t and f i n a l party i n Venice; Lambert Strether himself or Lambert Strether watching Chad and Mme.  de  Vionnet boating i n the French countryside; Mrs Brook seated i n state at her s a l o n — t h e "catalogue" seems endless. There i s yet another reason why James may have been attracted to the p l a s t i c arts as sources of i n s p i r a t i o n as well as imagery. A painting i s much more of a "public" thing than a book. I t has a closer r e l a t i o n s h i p to society, to individuals i n contact with one another, a point to which we s h a l l return below. One  isolates  oneself to read a book; one goes out to see a painting. A painting can a l s o be seen i n r e l a t i o n s h i p to other paintings; an entire e x h i b i t i o n can be seen i n one afternoon. I t i s not possible, on the  other hand, to read ten or twenty novels at more or less the same time, and i t takes much longer to get a general impression of a writer's work than a painter's. To James, who had chosen a more i s o l a t e d a r t form, the a r t of painting must have had a force and d i r e c t ness about i t which he could not help but envy. As i f some psychol o g i c a l compensation were at work, we f i n d not only h i s novels but his l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m abounding with technical terms which he has borrowed from the studios: "tone," "value," "composition," " p l a s t i c i t y . "  Therefore, i f only because James makes constant use of the techniques and language of the Fine Arts i n his writings, h i s formal a r t c r i t i c i s m would deserve more attention than i t has heretofore received. But James also seems to imply i n his f i c t i o n , although he never a c t u a l l y expressed such a view i n f a c t , that the man who does not understand or appreciate the principles of a r t can not completely grasp the principles of l i f e , and since an awareness and appreciation of the one involves, f o r him, an awareness and appreciation of the other, h i s comments on painters and paintings and the creative process i n general may be of more than passing i n t e r e s t to the serious student of his novels and t a l e s . Nevertheless an examination of h i s comments on s p e c i f i c painters and s p e c i f i c paintings can be of r e a l value only i f the reader remembers to place James' a r t c r i t i c i s m within i t s h i s t o r i c a l context. For i n order to understand his l i k e s and d i s l i k e s i t i s necessary to have some awareness of both the nation and the century  5  i n t o which he was he  born and  from whose i n f l u e n c e , f o r good or  c o u l d n e v e r e n t i r e l y escape. James was  i t was  a "complex f a t e " t o be a n i n e t e e n t h  ill,  o n l y too w e l l aware t h a t c e n t u r y American,  and  t h a t the American a r t i s t , whatever h i s medium, must somehow p l a c e himself  i n r e l a t i o n t o not  complex c o n t i n e n t  o n l y h i s own  c o u n t r y but  o f Europe. As he p o i n t e d  out  to the  highly  to Howells, being  American had  c e r t a i n advantages. An American, l a c k i n g a t r a d i t i o n  his  own,  f r e e to p i c k and  and  done, but being an American had  was  choose from the best t h a t had  an of  been s a i d  s e r i o u s d i s a d v a n t a g e s a t the same  time. No European w r i t e r i s c a l l e d upon t o assume t h a t t e r r i b l e burden [to choose between America and Europe] and i t seems hard t h a t I s h o u l d be. The burden i s n e c e s s a r i l y g r e a t e r f o r an A m e r i c a n — f o r he must d e a l , more or l e s s , even i f o n l y by i m p l i c a t i o n , w i t h Europe; whereas no European i s o b l i g e d to d e a l i n the l e a s t w i t h America. No one dreams o f c a l l i n g him l e s s complete f o r not d o i n g so A James was  not,  of c o u r s e , the f i r s t  d e a l w i t h Europe, but he was difficulties and  one  to r e a l i z e t h a t the a r t i s t must  o f the f i r s t  t o understand  o f t h i s o b l i g a t i o n . Many American a r t i s t s , both p a i n t e r s  w r i t e r s , had  crossed  the A t l a n t i c i n s e a r c h  w e l l as guidance. Yet the American a r t i s t who  o f i n s p i r a t i o n as  went t o London or P a r i s  or Rome tended e i t h e r to t u r n h i s back c o m p l e t e l y on h i s own and  the  country  become an e x p a t r i a t e or e l s e r u s h q u i c k l y home w i t h o n l y a vague  sense of Europe's beauty and W i l l i a m Wetmore S t o r y was Rome i n the 1860's. The  a much s h a r p e r sense of i t s c o r r u p t i o n .  the l i o n of a f l o u r i s h i n g a r t i s t c o l o n y  in  American p a i n t e r Benjamin West e s t a b l i s h e d  a s t u d i o i n London which became a k i n d of a r t i s t i c American Express  6 f o r young hopefuls from h i s n a t i v e land. Eventually West himself went on to become President of the Royal Academy. Even LaFarge and Sargent appeared to James to be more European than American. Indeed nineteenth century American a r t appears to have been d i v i d e d i n t o two q u i t e d i s t i n c t camps: those who remained i n America and t r i e d to discover the a e s t h e t i c and symbolic p o t e n t i a l i t y of t h e i r own country — r e a l i s t s such as Winslow Homer and Thomas Eakins; the other camp, often labeled "the aesthetes" by those who stayed a t home, was made up of a r t i s t s l i k e Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent who e i t h e r would not or could not grapple w i t h the American scene as i t was then. What James r e a l l y wished to do was not to choose but to synthesize — r e a l i s m w i t h a e s t h e t i c i s m , America with Europe. He wished to become cosmopolitan both i n outlook and i n f a c t . James was w e l l aware that cosmopolitanism as he conceived of i t was not a p a r t i c u l a r l y outstandi n g a t t r i b u t e of the American w r i t e r , however much i t may have been developed i n painters such as John LaFarge. That men l i k e Hawthorne and Emerson could not appreciate Eurppean a r t , f o r example, seemed to James to be i n d i c a t i v e of t h e i r l i m i t a t i o n s as a r t i s t s . James i s kinder to Hawthorne than he i s to Emerson i n t h i s respect, but i n h i s revievr of Hawthorne's I t a l i a n and French journals he admits that Hawthorne's judgements on a r t provoke i n him "a r e s p e c t f u l smile."^ James, observing that nine times out of ten Hawthorne chooses the contemporary, and u s u a l l y l i t t l e known contemporary American a r t i s t over the Old Master, f e e l s that he reacted most s t r o n g l y to "the primal freshness and brightness of paint and v a r n i s h , a n d — n o t to put too f i n e a point upon i . t — t h e new g i l d i n g of the frame."  7 James notes that Hawthorne also "remains unreconciled to the nudity of the marbles" and that as a result of his inescapable New England background sculpture remained a "closed book" to him. James quotes a passage from the Italian notebook which "seems to explain his [Hawthorne' sj  indifference by the Cis-Alpine remoteness of his point  of view." 'I do not altogether see the necessity of our sculpturing another nakedness. Man is no longer a naked animal; his clothes are to him as his skin, and we have no more right to undress him than to flay him.'' That Hawthorne's desire for drapery was not peculiar to New England alone can be seen by a comment of James' in William Wetmore Story and His Friends. Maintaining that Story "was not, with the last intensity a sculptor,"  James objects to his continued draping of  his monumental figures. He says that Story's use of drapery "bears on the question of what, in relation to the public, was possible...."^ He feels that there was a "felt demand" for drapery in mid-Victorian times, just as there was a similar demand for the novel of romance, since a draped figure i s romantic, anecdotal, while a nude is not. Thus Hawthorne, like his sculptor-contemporary Story, was unable or unwilling to accept reality unless i t were suitably clothed in the garb of romance. Reality unclothed was not nude, but "naked". But James takes pains to point out that Hawthorne did have a certain amount of aesthetic awareness whereas in his essay on Emerson he points out that Emerson had virtually no appreciation of art at a l l . For Emerson, not only sculpture but the entire world of the visual arts  8 was a "closed book". Hawthorne's remarks on art may have had a "strong national flavour," or have been limited by his age and environment, but Ralph Waldo Emerson was not only impervious to "Shelley, Aristophanes, Don Quixote, Miss Austen  and  Dickens,"  10  but also to  the great masterpieces of the Vatican and the Louvre. James recalls having accompanied Emerson on a tour of these galleries in 1872 and of having been "struck with the anomaly of a man so refined and intelligent being so l i t t l e spoken to by works of art.  It would be  more exact to say that certain chords were wholly absent, the tune was played, the tune of l i f e and literature altogether on those that remained. But i n James' own family there also seems to have been a lack of any deep appreciation of the fine arts—nowhere in his recollections of his early trips abroad do we find a reference to either of his parents accompanying him or William to an art gallery. If they weren't taken by a governess or a tutor, they appear to have gone alone. Were the elder Jameses, like their friend Emerson, deficient in "certain chords"? In Washington Square an Italian canvas by Mr. Cole, "the American Turner," hung in the front parlour, and a marble 'Bacchante,' again done by an American artist, in "the cor12  responding room behind."  There was also a large 'View i n Tuscany'  by Lefevre above the sofa, a painting which the small boy heard subjected to what he was to remember afterwards as "restrictive c r i t i 13  cism." ^ Again we, have both biographical and autobiographical evidence that the elder Jameses did take the boys downtown to see  9 such c u r r e n t l y p o p u l a r works as L e u t z e ' s 'Washington c r o s s i n g the Delaware' and t o a c o l l e c t i o n o f I t a l i a n " p r i m i t i v e s " which subsequently  turned  out t o be f a k e s . ^  And when W i l l i a m d e c i d e d  t o be  a p a i n t e r the f a m i l y rushed away from Europe and back t o America so t h a t he c o u l d s t u d y under an American p a i n t e r . James was his  t o remark i n  f o r m a l a r t c r i t i c i s m , a l b e i t not i n h i s memoirs, t h a t Hunt was  15 a painter with only a " d e l i c a t e t a l e n t . " for  In s p i t e of t h i s  the European scene the s e n i o r Henry appears t o have f e l t  yearning that  American a r t and a r t i s t s had q u a l i t i e s w h i c h c o u l d n o t be found i n Europe. And Henry J r . , i n h i s memoirs and h i s c r i t i c i s m , seems to i m p l y t h a t the American a r t which h i s f a t h e r admired was n o t o f a f i r s t - r a t e q u a l i t y . I t would appear then, t h a t W i l l i a m and the younger Henry d e r i v e d  t h e i r f a s c i n a t i o n f o r the p i c t o r i a l a r t s from e x t r a -  f a m i l i a l , r a t h e r than f a m i l i a l , i n f l u e n c e s , and t h i s i n i t s e l f ,  as  James h i m s e l f might say, i s a " s i n g u l a r l y i n t e r e s t i n g " h y p o t h e s i s . Can a c h i l d , b o m geois  i n t o a f a m i l y t h a t may have had e s s e n t i a l l y bour-  t a s t e s i n a r t , become, through f r e q u e n t  exposure t o good a r t ,  c o m p l e t e l y f r e e o f the i n f l u e n c e o f p a r e n t a l t a s t e ? Or was simply  Henry  born w i t h a unique c a p a c i t y f o r a p p r e c i a t i o n ? However t h a t may  frequented  be, i f the o l d e r but s t i l l young Henry James  the g a l l e r i e s f o r the a e s t h e t i c nourishment which he  could  n o t f i n d i n " h i s f a t h e r ' s house," be i t Washington Square o r America as a whole, he a l s o l o v e d the g a l l e r i e s because t h e y c o n t a i n e d  not  m e r e l y p a i n t i n g s but people l o o k i n g a t p a i n t i n g s . As John L. Sweeney p o i n t s out,  10  The s o c i a l aspect of g a l l e r y v i s i t s , p a i n t i n g p r a t t l e and acquaintance with the handsome s p o i l s of i n h e r i tance, was...an important part of h i s communion w i t h painters and p a i n t i n g and p a t r o n s . " 1  Here, i n the g a l l e r y , James could achieve s e v e r a l aims a t once—he could observe a T i t i a n or a Bume-Jones and at the same time  observe  other spectators' reactions t o the p a i n t i n g s . He could make mental notes on dress and d i s c u s s i o n , on what \^as favoured and what was not, and come t o some h i g h l y amused and amusing conclusions about the spectators as w e l l as the paintings themselves. We might mention j u s t two examples of t h i s . In 1 8 7 7 , t a l k i n g about the "importunately narr a t i v e " q u a l i t y of much of E n g l i s h contemporary a r t , he points out that the love of the n a r r a t i v e , the anecdotal, i s " i l l u s t r a t e d i n the spectators as much as i n the p i c t u r e s . " I remember a remark made as I stood l o o k i n g at a very p r e t t i l y painted scene by Mr. Marcus Stone, representi n g a young lady i n a pink s a t i n dress, solemnly burning up a l e t t e r , while an o l d woman s i t s weeping i n the background. Two l a d i e s stood near me, entranced. For a long time they were s i l e n t . A t l a s t — ' H e r mother was a widowi one of them breathed. Then they looked a l i t t l e while longer and departed. ''' 1  1  At the Academy e x h i b i t i o n of the f o l l o w i n g year, the crowd around F r i t h ' s 'Road to Ruin' i n c i t e s him to once again make i r o n i c comment on the t a s t e of the B r i t i s h p u b l i c . In one of the rooms a t the Academy there i s a dense crowd of people pressing c l o s e l y together, under the r i g i d s u r v e i l l a n c e of a policeman who i n c i t e s them to 'move on i n tones which resound the l i v e l o n g day. Is i t , then, so d i f f i c u l t to detach oneself from the work of Mr. F r i t h , a f t e r one has caught a happy glimpse of i t ? 1  1 8  Both The American  (1877)  and The Tragic Muse  (1890)  open i n  11  a F r e n c h g a l l e r y , the former i n t h e S a l o n C a r r e o f t h e Louvre, t h e l a t t e r i n t h e P a l a i s de I I n d u s t r i e . C h r i s t o p h e r 1  Newman's  bewilder-  ment a t what James was t o c a l l i n h i s a u t o b i o g r a p h y t h e " g e n e r a l sense o f g l o r y " o f the Louvre and Nick Dormer's keen a p p r e c i a t i o n o f t h e contemporary s c u l p t u r e o f the P a l a i s a t i o n as c o n t r a s t e d  (and Nick's  appreci-  t o h i s mother's and o l d e r s i s t e r ' s obvious and  v e r y E n g l i s h d i s t r u s t and d e p r e c a t i o n ) t e l l us c e r t a i n important f a c t s about t h e two heroes b e f o r e  t h e a c t i o n o f t h e s t o r y i s under  way. I t i s a l s o i n the g a l l e r i e s o f the Louvre t h a t  Christopher  f i r s t meets Noemie, and i n t h e P a l a i s t h a t Nick sees M i r i a m Rooth f o r t h e f i r s t time. Many o f James' o t h e r n o v e l s depend upon f a m i l y g a l l e r i e s o r even i s o l a t e d works o f a r t f o r p a r t o f t h e i r d r a m a t i c impact: R o d e r i c k Hudson. The P o r t r a i t o f a Lady. The S p o i l s o f Poynton. The  S a c r e d Fount. The Wings o f the Dove. The Golden Bowl. The hero's  or the heroine's "appreciate," or d e f e a t .  reaction to a r t , h i s a b i l i t y or i n a b i l i t y to  i s o f t e n d i r e c t l y connected t o h i s u l t i m a t e v i c t o r y  I n the case o f Americans l i k e C h r i s t o p h e r  Newman, I s a b e l  A r c h e r and Maggie V e r v e r , i t i s t h e i r e v e r - i n c r e a s i n g awareness o f the i m p l i c a t i o n s o f a r t , o f the n e c e s s i t y f o r e s t a b l i s h i n g c e r t a i n criteria,  that leads  t o t h e i r e v e n t u a l awareness o f t h e c o m p l e x i t y  of Europe and from t h e r e  t o some s o r t o f r e s o l u t i o n and independence.  When Maggie f i n a l l y understands t h e symbolic s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the g o l d e n bowl, when I s a b e l r e a l i z e s t h a t G i l b e r t t r e a t s people as works o f a r t and t h a t he " c o l l e c t s " more out o f a d e s i r e f o r s t a t u s  than  out o f any r e a l a e s t h e t i c o r moral a p p r e c i a t i o n o f h i s " c o l l e c t i o n s , "  12 when C h r i s t o p h e r Newman r e a l i z e s t h a t he has been "taken i n , " f i r s t by the b r i g h t n e s s o f the v a r n i s h on Noemie's canvasses C i n t r e s ' own  and l a t e r by  the  p e c u l i a r brand o f a e s t h e t i c i s m , then, and o n l y then,  a r e t h e y a b l e t o cope w i t h what i s l e f t  o f t h e i r l i v e s . On the nega-  t i v e s i d e , R o d e r i c k Hudson's p r o d u c t i o n s themselves  are symbolic of  h i s r a p i d d e c l i n e , M i l l y Theale's r e c o g n i t i o n o f h e r semblable i n the B r o n z i n o p o r t r a i t symbolizes her a p p r o a c h i n g death, and F l e d a Vetch's s e l f - s a c r i f i c e i s rewarded w i t h not o n l y a p s y c h o l o g i c a l ,  but  a l s o a r e a l , c r o s s — t h e M a l t e s e Cross which she had " a p p r e c i a t e d " so w e l l .  A r t , and people l o o k i n g a t a r t — t h i s m o t i f runs through most o f James' major n o v e l s and some o f h i s f i n e s t t a l e s : "The Madonna o f the F u t u r e , " "The "The  L i a r , " "The B e l d o n a l d H o l b e i n , " "The  Tone o f Time,"  R e a l T h i n g . " Sometimes the i n t e r e s t l i e s i n the a r t i s t h i m s e l f ,  as i n R o d e r i c k Hudson. "The Madonna o f the F u t u r e " or The T r a g i c Muse; sometimes the i n t e r e s t l i e s "The  i n the n a t u r e o f a r t i t s e l f , as i n  L i a r " and "The R e a l T h i n g ; " but always, f o r James, the r e a l  i n t e r e s t r e s t s w i t h the v i e w i n g c o n s c i o u s n e s s i t s e l f , be i t t h a t o f p r o d u c e r , or merely s p e c t a t o r , o f a r t . The works o f a r t a r e  important  o n l y i n s o f a r as t h e y a f f e c t the c o n s c i o u s n e s s — t h e y have l i t t l e no importance  as i s o l a t e d o b j e c t s .  I t might be argued the u l t i m a t e problem l i k e "The  or  t h a t most o f James' f i c t i o n c e n t e r s around  o f i l l u s i o n and r e a l i t y — e v e n " g h o s t l y " t a l e s  Turn o f the S c r e w " — a n d he shows us i n h i s n o v e l s and  tales  13 that there are as many kinds of i l l u s i o n as there are of r e a l i t y . " I n the Palace of A r t there are many mansions;" " i n the house of f i c t i o n there i s not one window, but a m i l l i o n . " And i n A Small Boy and Others he states that even as a c h i l d of twelve he was aware that a r t and l i f e were somehow, f o r him, i n e x t r i c a b l y mixed. I have dim reminiscences of permitted independent v i s i t s , uncorrectedly j u v e n i l e though I might s t i l l be, during which the house of l i f e and the palace of a r t became so mixed and interchangeable—the Louvre being the most peopled of scenes as w e l l as the most hushed of a l l temples—that an excursion to look at pictures would have but h a l f expressed my a f t e r n o o n . ^ Palace of a r t , house of f i c t i o n , house of l i f e : the house of f i c t i o n — t h e house that James built—seems to have a d i r e c t r e l a t i o n to both of the others. And James f i c t i o n , l i k e works of a r t and l i k e 1  l i f e i t s e l f , may turn out to r e s t on the same dual foundation of i l l u s i o n and r e a l i t y . • • •  But the f a c t that James f i c t i o n deals with the very problems 1  which are e s s e n t i a l to a r t would n o t , i n i t s e l f , be enough to j u s t i f y the i n c l u s i o n of h i s a r t c r i t i c i s m as important to an understanding of h i s novels and t a l e s . I t would make t h i s c r i t i c i s m i n t e r e s t i n g perhaps, but s t i l l nothing more than "a s i g n i f i c a n t t r i b u t a r y of h i s t a l e n t , " a phrase which John L . Sweeney uses i n h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n to The P a i n t e r ' s Eve. I would nevertheless l i k e to suggest that i f one can e s t a b l i s h c e r t a i n of James' a e s t h e t i c c r i t e r i a , i f one can "get behind" James himself as i t were, and watch him as he does i n r e a l i t y what h i s heroes and heroines do i n the f i c t i o n , then one  i s w e l l on t h e way  t o u n d e r s t a n d i n g n o t o n l y James  1  theory of a r t  but h i s t h e o r y o f f i c t i o n and a l s o , perhaps, h i s t h e o r y o f l i f e . What he does i n h i s essays and r e v i e w s on t h e v i s u a l a r t s i s t o t a k e us by t h e hand and l e a d us through t h e g r e a t e x h i b i t i o n s o f  England  and F r a n c e , and, by so d o i n g , r e v e a l t o us how he l o o k s a t a work o f a r t . We  can then t u r n o r r e t u r n t o h i s n o v e l s and t a l e s w i t h  a h e i g h t e n e d awareness, n o t o n l y o f h i s t e c h n i q u e s , but a l s o o f h i s own a e s t h e t i c s t a n d a r d s . I f we then measure h i s c h a r a c t e r s ' s t a n dards a g a i n s t h i s own we can b e t t e r understand and weaknesses as human b e i n g s . We  both t h e i r strengths  can a l s o , I f e e l , come away w i t h  a g r e a t e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g n o t o n l y o f : the •'vast c o m p l e x i t y o f n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y a r t , but o f how age i n w h i c h i t was  the a r t i t s e l f r e f l e c t e d the t e r r i b l y complex  produced. I n a c e n t u r y where n e o - c l a s s i c i d e a l i s m  and s c i e n t i f i c m a t e r i a l i s m , the a r i s t o c r a c y and t h e b o u r g e o i s i e , Camelot and Camden Town, r o m a n t i c s e n t i m e n t a l i t y and hard-headed p r a c t i c a l i t y , the f a c t o r y and the g a l l e r y , m a i n t a i n e d an uneasy m a r r i a g e , i t i s no wonder t h a t James' heroes and h e r o i n e s f i n d thems e l v e s up a g a i n s t problems w h i c h seem b o t h i n s u r m o u n t a b l e  and  c u r i o u s l y modern. And as James w r i t e s about contemporary people i n contemporary s e t t i n g s , h i s comments on contemporary a r t a r e , t o t h i s c r i t i c a t l e a s t , e x t r e m e l y i m p o r t a n t . I n h i s e s s a y on Emerson James s a i d t h a t "we know a man  i m p e r f e c t l y u n t i l we know h i s s o c i e t y ,  we but h a l f know a s o c i e t y u n t i l we know i t s manners."  We  and  might  add t h a t we but h a l f know a s o c i e t y u n t i l we know i t s a r t , n o t o n l y i t s l i t e r a t u r e but i t s m u s i c , a r c h i t e c t u r e , s c u l p t u r e and  painting.  And we s h o u l d a l s o know n o t o n l y what i s a c c e p t e d ( t h i s i s , p a r t o f a s o c i e t y ' s "manners"),  but what i s n o t . I n James we have an eye-  w i t n e s s t o a r t h i s t o r y i n the making, and b e i n g t h e k i n d o f  critic  he was he g i v e s us, i n h i s essays and r e v i e w s on a r t , an e y e - w i t n e s s a c c o u n t o f s o c i a l h i s t o r y as w e l l .  " C r i t i c i s m , " s a i d Henry James, " i s the gateway t o a p p r e c i a t i o n , j u s t as a p p r e c i a t i o n i s , i n r e g a r d t o a work o f a r t , the  21 o n l y g a t e o f enjoyment."  I n James' c o n c e p t i o n o f c r i t i c i s m  i m p l i e s t h a t the f u n c t i o n o f t h e c r i t i c i s t o h e l p p e o p l e  he  towards  t h i s n e c e s s a r y a p p r e c i a t i o n , f o r , as he had s a i d many y e a r s e a r l i e r , "though a r t i s an asylum, i t i s a s o r t o f moated s t r o n g h o l d , h a r d l y a p p r o a c h a b l e save by some s l e n d e r bridge-work o f p r i m a r y c u l t u r e . . . . " The c r i t i c , l i k e t h e f i c e l l e i n many o f James* n o v e l s , can h e l p t o p r o v i d e t h i s " s l e n d e r b r i d g e - w o r k " i f n e c e s s a r y , and, i f n o t , can i n c r e a s e t h e a p p r e c i a t i o n o f t h o s e who,  t h r o u g h t h e i r own  efforts,  a r e a l r e a d y w i t h i n the s t r o n g h o l d . Yet James n e v e r o v e r e s t i m a t e d the v a l u e o f c r i t i c i s m and t h e r o l e o f the c r i t i c , and he made many s t a t e m e n t s , n o t o n l y on c i s m i n g e n e r a l , but on problems  criti-  concerned s p e c i f i c a l l y w i t h c r i t i -  c i s m o f the f i n e a r t s . I n 1875 he w r i t e s : Even an i n d i f f e r e n t p i c t u r e i s g e n e r a l l y worth more t h a n a good c r i t i c i s m , but we approve o f c r i t i c i s m n e v e r t h e l e s s . . . . I t t a l k s a good d e a l o f nonsense but even i t s nonsense i s a u s e f u l f o r c e . I t keeps the q u e s t i o n o f a r t b e f o r e the w o r l d , i n s i s t s upon i t s i m p o r t a n c e , and makes i t always i n order.^3  16 Nevertheless  he was  aware t h a t a l i t t e r a t e u r , even a  "whose s o l e r e l a t i o n t o p i c t u r e s was  litterateur  a d i s p o s i t i o n t o e n j o y them,  o f t e n approached a work o f a r t from a l i t e r a r y , r a t h e r than the p a i n t e r l y , p o i n t o f v i e w . He p o i n t s out t h a t p a i n t e r s "have a  strong  sense o f the d i f f e r e n c e between the l i t e r a r y p o i n t o f v i e w and p i c t o r i a l and them." ^  they i n v e t e r a t e l y suspect c r i t i c s of confounding  Therefore,  2  the  a l t h o u g h James says i n "The  A r t o f F i c t i o n " (1884.)  ,that "the a n a l o g y between the a r t o f the p a i n t e r and n o v e l i s t is...complete,"^^  he was  the a r t of  aware t h a t the p a i n t e r ' s eye  t h e n o v e l i s t ' s eye a r e n o t l o o k i n g f o r the same t h i n g s . He something w h i c h has  become one  of the b a s i c t e n e t s of  the and  recognized  twentieth  c e n t u r y a r t — t h a t the p r i m a r y f u n c t i o n of the p l a s t i c a r t i s t was t o t e l l a s t o r y but t o c r e a t e a c o m p o s i t i o n .  He knew t h a t b o t h p a i n t e r  and n o v e l i s t a r e concerned w i t h the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of r e a l i t y t h a t the p a i n t e r ' s c o n c e p t i o n i s , or s h o u l d  of how  not  t h i s r e a l i t y i s t o be  be, d i f f e r e n t f r o m the n o v e l i s t ' s c o n c e p t i o n  but  expressed of  the  same t h i n g . The d i f f e r e n c e of media i n v o l v e d n e c e s s i t a t e d a d i f f e r ence o f c o n c e p t i o n , e f f e c t s . I t was  and a r e f u s a l t o a c c e p t t h i s l e d t o b i z a r r e  a r t seen f r o m the l i t e r a r y p o i n t of v i e w a l o n e ,  as  w e l l as too " l i t e r a r y " a s t y l e , w h i c h made James t u r n on h i s " a d o r a b l e F r o m e n t i n " i n 1876,  a c c u s i n g him i  of t r y i n g t o see too much i n c e r t a i n  p a i n t i n g s as w e l l as o f b e i n g g u i l t y of s u p e r - s u b t l e t y and spinning." ''' 2  I n 1875  he had remarked t h a t "we  s i d e , the a r t s of p i c t u r e s q u e  w r i t i n g and  "web-  have i n v e n t e d , s i d e  by  of e r u d i t e p a i n t i n g , " but  he a d m i t t e d t h a t , c o n s i d e r i n g the k i n d of p a i n t i n g w h i c h was  g o i n g on  17 a t the t i m e , " i t w i l l n o t be amiss t o excuse us f o r sometimes a t t e m p t i n g t o motive our i m p r e s s i o n s , as t h e F r e n c h s a y , on c o n s i d e r a t i o n s n o t e x c l u s i v e l y p i c t o r i a l . Some o f t h e most b r i l l i a n t  paint-  e r s o f our day i n d e e d , a r e themselves more l i t e r a r y t h a n t h e i r most erratic c r i t i c s . . . . " ^  I n h i s e s s a y on F r o m e n t i n he a l s o makes an  o b j e c t i o n to o v e r l y t e c h n i c a l c r i t i c i s m of the f i n e a r t s . He [ F r o m e n t i n ] e n t e r s too much, i n our o p i n i o n , i n t o t h e t e c h n i c a l s i d e , and he e x p e c t s h i s r e a d e r s t o c a r e much more t h a n s h o u l d be e x p e c t e d even o f a v e r y a r d e n t a r t l o v e r , f o r t h e m y s t e r i e s o f t h e p r o c e s s by w h i c h the p i c t u r e was made. There i s a c e r t a i n s o r t o f t a l k w h i c h s h o u l d be c o n f i n e d t o manuals and notebooks and s t u d i o r e c o r d s . . . . I t i s narrow and u n i m a g i n a t i v e n o t t o understand t h a t a v e r y deep and i n t e l l i g e n t enjoyment o f p i c t u r e s i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h a l i v e l y i n d i f f e r e n c e t o t h e ' i n s i d e v i e w ' o f them. I t has too much i n common w i t h the r e v e r s e o f a t a p e s t r y , and s u g g e s t s t h a t a man may be e x t r e m e l y f o n d o f good c o n c e r t s and y e t - h a v e no r e l i s h f o r the t u n i n g o f fiddles. 9 2  Thus James t r i e s t o a v o i d b o t h " l i t e r a r y " and  "technical"  a r t c r i t i c i s m i n h i s own essays and i s c o n t e n t merely t o r e c o r d h i s i m p r e s s i o n s and make a few g e n e r a l comments and c o n c l u s i o n s . What he does t r y t o do i s t o p o i n t out w h i c h p a i n t i n g s have a p p e a l e d t o him, and why, w h i c h have n o t a p p e a l e d t o him, and why n o t . He  states  t h a t a l l he a s k s o f a p a i n t i n g i s " t h a t some f o r c e and charm have worked." H i s essays a r e e s s e n t i a l l y i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c , t h e i m p r e s s i o n s o f t e n c l o t h e d i n b e a u t i f u l o r w i t t y metaphor, and h i s  judgements,  i f one can c a l l them t h a t , a r e e s s e n t i a l l y p r a g m a t i c . However, the " f o r c e and charm" o f w h i c h he speaks i n I t a l i a n Hours a r e based  on  c e r t a i n f a c t o r s which are f a i r l y constants s t y l e , c o l o u r , s i n c e r i t y of  18 e x p r e s s i o n , p l a s t i c i t y and  form.  There a r e a few o t h e r i m p o r t a n t f a c t o r s i n v o l v e d i n any  dis-  c u s s i o n of James' f o r m a l a r t c r i t i c i s m . I n e v a l u a t i n g h i s remarks we must keep i n mind t h a t James wrote v e r y l i t t l e a r t c r i t i c i s m a f t e r 1882, h i s v e r y l a s t a r t i c l e b e i n g an e s s a y on DuMaurier i n Harper's Magazine . September, 1897. Thus h i s a r t c r i t i c i s m ceases b e f o r e  he  e n t e r s h i s "major phase". Sweeney s u g g e s t s t h a t by the 1880's James was  too absorbed i n h i s own a r t t o have time f o r any a r t i c l e s on  the v i s u a l a r t s , and he r e g r e t s t h a t the n o v e l i s t "wrote so  little  about t h e p i c t o r i a l a r t s a f t e r 1882." However, i n a l e t t e r t o E l i o t Norton i n 1892 James a d m i t t e d  t h a t he had  Charles  "ceased t o f e e l i t  £paintingj v e r y m u c h , " ^ so perhaps i t i s j u s t as w e l l t h a t he ceased t o w r i t e about i t f o r m a l l y . I n I t a l i a n Hours (1909) he t o a d i s c u s s i o n o f the Old M a s t e r s r a t h e r than the new, T i n t o r e t t o , C o r e g g i o , Raphael. As E.P. i s a conservative  organ,and  had returns  to T i t i a n ,  R i c h a r d s o n has s a i d , "the  eye  one assumes t h a t i t becomes more and  more c o n s e r v a t i v e w i t h age. And as an a r t i s t f e e l s h i m s e l f f u r t h e r and f u r t h e r removed from the p r e s e n t  i t i s u n d e r s t a n d a b l e t h a t he  s h o u l d f e e l more and more a t home w i t h a r t w h i c h has a l r e a d y upon I t the "tone o f t i m e , "  the sense of the e t e r n a l — p a r t i c u l a r l y , as i n  James' c a s e , when the a r t i s i n a medium w h i c h i s n o t h i s  o\m.  James' l i f e and c a r e e r spanned an e r a of tremendous v a r i e t y and change i n the whole c o n c e p t i o n  of a r t , from D e l a c r o i x and  c a u l t t o the Fauves and C u b i s t s . That he was  Geri-  unable t o make the  19 s t r u c t u r a l l e a p i n t o the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y  i s evident i n h i s  novels,  where he s t i l l r e l i e s on t r a d i t i o n a l s y n t a x , f o r example, even when he i s p r e s e n t i n g  themes and  f y i n g l y "modern." The  p s y c h o l o g i c a l problems w h i c h a r e  terri-  s t r e a m of c o n s c i o u s n e s s n o v e l , l i k e the work  o f T o l s t o i and D o s t o i e v s k y ,  would p r o b a b l y have appeared t o him  like  a " f l u i d pudding," f o r i t seems s a f e t o assume t h a t h i s concept o f form i n v o l v e d a v e r y t r a d i t i o n a l concept of s t r u c t u r e as w e l l . A l t h o u g h he has  c e r t a i n a f f i n i t i e s w i t h - a r t i s t s l i k e Cezanne,  Picasso  and Henry Moore, whether he would have been a b l e t o a c c e p t some of t h e more a b s t r a c t t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y a r t i s d e b a t a b l e . An  ironist  l i k e James r e l i e s upon the d i s p a r i t y between e x t e r n a l and l o g i c a l r e a l i t y , and  psycho-  one doubts v e r y much i f James, f o r a l l h i s  i n s i s t e n c e upon the d i f f e r e n c e between the p a i n t e r ' s and  the n o v e l i s t ' s  p o i n t o f v i e w , c o u l d have r e a d i l y a c c e p t e d an a r t whose r e l a t i o n s h i p t o o u t e r r e a l i t y i s o f t e n tenuous.  There i s one f u r t h e r p o i n t t o be mentioned. One stumbling  o f the c h i e f  b l o c k s t o any a p p r e c i a t i o n of James' c r i t i c i s m i n v o l v e s h i s  p e c u l i a r use o f the word " m o r a l . "  What does he mean when he says  t h a t T i n t o r e t t o never, drew a l i n e w h i c h was  not a m o r a l l i n e ,  3 2  or  when he says t h a t L e l y ' s i m p u r i t y o f c o l o u r i n g denotes "moral t u r p i tude on the p a r t of the a r t i s t " ? s t r e s s e s the f a c t t h a t "we  3 3  I n "The  A r t of F i c t i o n "  he  must g r a n t the a r t i s t h i s s u b j e c t , h i s  i d e a , h i s donnee; our c r i t i c i s m i s a p p l i e d o n l y t o what he makes  3L of i t . "  Therefore,  m o r a l i t y i n a r t must have n o t h i n g  t o do  with  t h e c h o i c e o f s u b j e c t , a l l s u b j e c t s b e i n g p o t e n t i a l g r i s t f o r the  20 a r t i s t ' s m i l l ; i t may t h e r e f o r e be assumed t h a t i t has something to  do w i t h e x e c u t i o n , w i t h "what he makes" o f h i s s u b j e c t . I n h i s  p r e f a c e t o The P o r t r a i t o f a Lady James takes up t h e q u e s t i o n o f art  and m o r a l i t y and g i v e s a t l e a s t p a r t o f h i s answer t o our q u e s t i o n . One h a d , f r o m an e a r l y time f o r t h a t m a t t e r , t h e i n s t i n c t o f t h e r i g h t e s t i m a t e o f such v a l u e s and o f i t s r e d u c i n g t o t h e inane t h e d u l l d i s p u t e over t h e "immoral" s u b j e c t and t h e m o r a l . R e c o g n i z i n g s o promptly t h e one measure o f t h e w o r t h o f a g i v e n s u b j e c t , t h e q u e s t i o n about i t t h a t , r i g h t l y answered, d i s p o s e s o f a l l o t h e r s — i s i t v a l i d , i n a word, i s i t genuine, i s i t s i n c e r e , t h e r e s u l t o f some d i r e c t impression or perception of life?35  E l s e w h e r e i n t h e same p r e f a c e he s t a t e s t h a t he r e c o g n i z e s " t h e p e r f e c t dependence o f t h e 'moral' sense o f a work o f a r t on t h e amount o f f e l t l i f e  concerned i n p r o d u c i n g  it," ^ 3  The m o r a l i t y o r i m m o r a l i t y o f a work o f a r t , t h e n , r e s t s n o t in  the s u b j e c t but i n the viewing consciousness  o f t h e a r t i s t . By an  e x t e n s i o n o f terms we can s a y t h a t f o r James m o r a l i t y i s equated w i t h s i n c e r i t y , whereas i m m o r a l i t y i s o f t e n equated w i t h what he c a l l s " c l e v e r n e s s , " a word James n e v e r uses w i t h o u t some p e j o r a t i v e c o n n o t a t i o n s . I n h i s r e v i e w o f B a u d e l a i r e ' s F l e u r s du M a l he laughs a t the a e s t h e t e s ' c o n s t a n t d e n u n c i a t i o n o f m o r a l v a l u e s i n a r t and s a y s t h a t t h i s shows a d e c i d e d n a i v e t e on t h e p a r t o f t h e d i s c i p l e s o f l ' a r t pour l ' a r t . U s i n g an image from t h e s t u d i o s , he emphasizes t h a t m o r a l i t y i s n o t something w h i c h t h e a r t i s t can keep i n a b o t t l e and put i n o r l e a v e out o f h i s works a t w i l l . " I t has n o t h i n g t o do w i t h the a r t i s t i c p r o c e s s ; i t has e v e r y t h i n g t o do w i t h t h e a r t i s t i c effect."37  James does n o t , t h e r e f o r e , seem t o f a l l i n t o t h e V i c t o r i a n  21  t r a p of c o n f u s i n g moral and a e s t h e t i c c r i t e r i a . F o r him, one and the same. The a r t i s t h i m s e l f determines his  the two  are  the moral q u a l i t y o f  a r t , and the s u b j e c t which he chooses and h i s manner o f t r e a t i n g  t h i s s u b j e c t , h i s use o f c o l o u r , l i n e , c o m p o s i t i o n , w i l l be as moral as he i s . The E n g l i s h c r i t i c H e r b e r t Read says t h a t The Greeks were w i s e r than we, and t h e i r b e l i e f , which always seems so c h i l d i s h to us, t h a t beauty i s moral goodness, i s r e a l l y a simple t r u t h . The o n l y s i n i s u g l i n e s s , and i f we b e l i e v e t h i s w i t h a l l our b e i n g , a l l o t h e r a c t i v i t i e s of the human s p i r i t c o u l d be l e f t to take care of themselves. A r t i s the d i r e c t measure of a man's s p i r i t u a l v i s i o n . 3 ° Whether we  b e l i e v e t h i s or not i s i r r e l e v a n t . The p o i n t i s t h a t James  appears  to have b e l i e v e d i t "with a l l h i s  To him,  a s o r d i d o r c l i n i c a l view of l i f e  of  b e i n g , " as Read puts i t . can produce a s o r d i d work  a r t . There can be no c o n f u s i o n of moral and a e s t h e t i c c r i t e r i a .  To s e p a r a t e them, to have one s e t of c r i t e r i a f o r s o c i e t y and for  a r t , i s p r o v i n c i a l , or even worse. And  i n h i s n o v e l s and  James t r i e d to show t h a t t h e r e must be a r t i n l i f e be l i f e  another tales  j u s t as t h e r e must  i n a r t , and t h a t a sense of beauty i n a l l o f i t s a s p e c t s i s  e s s e n t i a l to a sense of humanity. And as I f e e l t h a t he e x e m p l i f i e s i n h i s f i c t i o n the p r i n c i p l e s which he works out i n h i s c r i t i c i s m , i t might be w e l l to b e g i n our d i s c u s s i o n of James' s o j o u r n i n the P a l a c e of A r t w i t h an examination  of t h r e e of h i s s h o r t t a l e s d e a l i n g  s p e c i f i c a l l y w i t h a r t and the a r t i s t . I have somewhat a r b i t r a r i l y chosen "The Madonna of the F u t u r e " ( 1 8 7 3 ) , "The  "The  Liar"(1888)  and  R e a l Thing"(1893) because they not o n l y span the p e r i o d d u r i n g  which he wrote h i s f o r m a l a r t c r i t i c i s m , but a l s o g i v e the r e a d e r a  22 sense o f James' g r o w i n g awareness o f the c o m p l e x i t y o f the whole s u b j e c t o f appearance and r e a l i t y , a r t and i l l u s i o n .  23 FOOTNOTES  ^ "On Some P i c t u r e s L a t e l y E x h i b i t e d " ^ o r i g i n a l l y p u b l i s h e d i n t h e A t l a n t i c Monthly. November, 187Al i n The P a i n t e r ' s Eye; Notes and Essays on the P i c t o r i a l A r t s "by Henry James, ed. John L. Sweeney (London, 1956), p.97. Unless otherwise s t a t e d , a l l f u r t h e r r e f e r e n c e s t o James' f o r m a l a r t c r i t i c i s m w i l l be t o t h i s volume, h e n c e f o r t h d e s i g n a t e d as P.E. O r i g i n a l date o f p u b l i c a t i o n has been i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o the t e x t wherever p o s s i b l e . Sweeney has i n c l u d e d a l l the o r i g i n a l d a t e s , t i t l e s and p l a c e s i n h i s table of contents. 2 The A r t o f the N o v e l : C r i t i c a l P r e f a c e s by Henry James (London, 1934), p.46. 3 The T r a g i c Muse, i n The L a u r e l Henry James (New York, 1961), p.25.  4The Notebooks o f Henry James, ed. F.O. M a t t h i e s s e n and Kenneth B. Murdock (New York, 1 9 6 l ) , p.24.  5  Henry James; The American E s s a y s , ed. Leon E d e l (New York, 1956), p.6. The r e v i e w o r i g i n a l l y appeared i n the N a t i o n . March 14, 1872. I b i d . . p.8. 7  Ibid. Vol.11  9  (Boston, 1903), p.80.  Ibid.  10 "Emerson" i n The American E s s a y s , p.73. O r i g i n a l l y p u b l i s h e d i n Macmillan's Magazine, December, 1887. I b i d . . p.74« 12 Henry James: Autobiography, ed. F r e d e r i c k W. Dupee (New York, 1956), p.152. A S m a l l Boy and Others, the s e c t i o n o f the a u t o b i o graphy from which these r e c o l l e c t i o n s were taken, was p u b l i s h e d by S c r i b n e r s i n 1913. 1  3  I b i d . . p.153.  The young James was bored by the e x h i b i t even w h i l e a c c e p t i n g t h e work a s genuine, and i n A S m a l l Boy and Others he s t a t e s t h a t " i t made me b e g i n b a d l y w i t h C h r i s t i a n a r t . " (Autobiography, p.152.  24 15  "Pictures by William Morris Hunt, Gerome and Others" (1872), P.E.. p.50.  17 "The Picture Season i n London," PaE., p.150 18 "The Royal Academy," PjE., pp.170-71. 19 Autobiography, pp.198-99. ^° American Essays, p.53. 21 "The Lesson of Balzac" i n Henry James, The Future of the Novel; Essays on the Art of Fiction, ed. Leon Edel (New York, 1956), p.97. Originally given as a lecture to the Contemporary Club of Philadelphia, January 12, 1905. 22 "The Wallace Collection i n Bethnal Green" (1873), LJ3., p.67. 23 "On Some Pictures Lately Exhibited." P.E.. p.88 2 4 -  "The Letters of Eugene Delacroix" (1880), PJ5., p.183.  25  , " "An English Critic of French Painting" (1868), PaE., p.35. v  26 The Future of the Novel, p.5. 27 2 8  29  "Les Maitres D'Autrefois." P.E.. p.117. "Pictures Lately Exhibited" (1875), PjE., p.90. ZaE., p.118  30  The Letters of Henry James, ed. Percy Lubbock (New York, 1920), I, p.197. Painting i n America; The Story of £50 Years (New York, 1956), p.373. 3 1  James makes this remark i n Italian Hours (London, 1909), p.82. Here James i s speaking of Nicholas Maas' portrait of the Duchess of Mazarin. "The 1871 Purchase" (1872), PgE., p.57. 3 3  34  The Future of the Novel, p. 17. 36 The Art of the Novel, p.45. Ibid.  25 37  French Poets and Noveliats (London, 1908), p.65. This review originally appeared in the Nation, April 27, 1876. 3 8  The Meaning of Art (Suffolk [England), 1951), p.190.  CHAPTER I JAMES  1  PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST  In "The Madonna of the Future" (1873) James has created not merely a cautionary tale for transcendental genius, an object lesson for those who, like M. Theobold, take out their talent "in talk, i n study, i n plans and promises, i n visions," but has already begun to 1  hint at certain attitudes towards art which were to become a_ part of his criteria for evaluating the many paintings, he was to examine i n both his public and his private capacity—as observer and c r i t i c . M. Theobold, the artist who yearns to paint another, a modern •Madonna of the Chair,  1  i s an idealist, and he sets forth his philo-  sophy quite early on i n the story. No one so loves and respects the rich reality of nature as the artist whose imagination intensifies them. He knows what a fact may hold...but his fancy hovers over i t as Ariel in the play hovers over the sleeping prince. James as a r t i s t , and James as narrator of the tale, has no real quarrel with this. But what he objects to i s the fact that the old man has become so wrapped up i n his vision of the ideal that his Madonna exists nowhere but i n his own imagination and he dies a failure, leaving behind him only the pathetic legacy of a blank canvas. There i s , however, another artist i n the story, and for the  27 purpose of this paper he is of equal, i f not greater, importance than poor Theobold. This i s the nameless Italian who models clever l i t t l e statuettes of monkeys and cats, caricatures of men and women in different attitudes of the game of love. This character i s interesting, not only because he prefigures Gloriani in Roderick Hudson (just as Theobold, i n his concept of art at least, i s a precursor of Roderick himself), but because he stands as a f o i l to Theobold — r e a l i s t versus idealist. "Cats and monkeys, monkeys and cats^—all human l i f e i s there I"  The words of the ingenious l i t t l e artist come  back to haunt the young narrator as he wanders through the "triumphant ruins of Rome," trying to blot out the memory of "Theobold's transcendent illusions and deplorable failure." The young man's utter disgust at the cynical attitude of the clever l i t t l e Italian i s very powerful, and yet he knows that Theobold was equally wrong or misguided in his obsession with Ideal reality. Which i s better—to produce something superficial or to produce nothing at a l l ? The narrator is l e f t with no answer to his unspoken question, but i t i s obvious that his sympathies, and those of James himself, l i e with the transcendental failure. Theobold had, at least, what James was later to c a l l "the sense of the ideal," and the old artist, just before his death, suggests that his l i f e has not been entirely in vain. "Our visions...have a way of being b r i l l i a n t , and a man has not lived i n vain who has seen the things I've seeni"3 And he adds: "I need only the hand of Raphael. His brain I already have....I'm the half of a genius! Where in the world i s my other half?"  28  H i s o t h e r h a l f i s the man his  who  has the energy and w i l l t o pat  a e s t h e t i c t h e o r y i n t o p r a c t i c e , who  has a sense o f the r e a l as  w e l l as the i d e a l . A l t h o u g h the c l e v e r l i t t l e I t a l i a n i s t h e o n l y o t h e r a r t i s t i n the s t o r y , and t h i s l e a d s one t o suppose t h a t a s y n t h e s i s o f the two men  s h o u l d produce t h e i d e a l a r t i s t , such a  c l u s i o n would be o n l y p a r t i a l l y t r u e . The l i t t l e s c u l p t o r has  contalent,  he has t h e hand, but he has no h e a r t , and h i s " r e a l i s m " i s l i m i t e d t o n a t u r a l i s m . Theobold has the h e a r t and the t a l e n t , but i t i s n o t r e a l l y a hand w h i c h keeps him f r o m p r o d u c i n g , i t i s a o f the a r t i s t i c p r o c e s s . As a man  misconception  he i s not a complete f a i l u r e , as  a r t i s t he i s . P a r t o f the answer comes twenty y e a r s l a t e r , i n when the d y i n g Dencombe o f "The M i d d l e Years"  an  1893»  ( f i n a l l y r e a l i z i n g that  t h e r e i s no second chance f o r an a r t i s t ) , a c c e p t s t h e f a c t t h a t an a r t i s t , l i k e any o t h e r man,  can n e v e r hope t o r e a c h p e r f e c t i o n ,  and  t h a t he must r e s t c o n t e n t w i t h the f a c t t h a t he w i l l n e v e r t o t a l l y realize his "ideal." "We work i n the d a r k — w e do what we c a n — w e g i v e what we have. Our doubt i s our p a s s i o n and our p a s s i o n i s our Dencombe has r e a l i z e d t h a t t h e a r t i s t has, by h i s v e r y n a t u r e as  man,  o n l y a l i m i t e d knowledge o f the i d e a l and the e t e r n a l . T h i s i s what Theobold r e f u s e d t o r e c o g n i z e u n t i l t o o l a t e . And i n James' notebooks we see him time and time a g a i n c a u t i o n i n g h i m s e l f n o t t o g e t t o o wrapped up i n h i s i d e a l c o n c e p t i o n o f a n o v e l or t a l e , t o t a k e h i s "germ" o f an i d e a and  It  "begin."  c o u l d be argued t h a t t h e most p e r f e c t work of a r t i s t h a t  29 which i s s t i l l sciousness whose own  i n the c o n c e p t u a l  of the a r t i s t . But  stage,  e x i s t i n g o n l y i n the  con-  t h i s i s p e r f e c t i o n i n a v o i d . To James,  c a p a c i t y f o r hard work was  phenomenal, the word " a r t " im-  p l i e d r e a l i z a t i o n as w e l l as c o n c e p t i o n . f o o t f i r m l y p l a n t e d i n the world  The  a r t i s t must have  one  o f the humanly p o s s i b l e , however  much he a s p i r e s to move up to the heaven of the i d e a l l y d e s i r a b l e . The  a r t i s t , l i k e Janus, must l o o k i n both d i r e c t i o n s a t once. I f the  a r t i s t becomes so enmeshed i n the i m p e r f e c t i o n of t h i s world can see men  o n l y as monkeys or c a t s and never as a n y t h i n g  monkeys or c a t s , i f the s l i c e of l i f e slice  i s always a dark and  (an o b j e c t i o n James l e v e l l e d a t the c r e a t i o n s of the  b r o t h e r s and  the balance  Goncourt  sees n o t h i n g  but  between the two  i n g s of the n i n e t e e n t h exceptions,  we  t h a t the a r t i s t must seek, and  seraphim great  i t is evi-  t h a t James l o o k s f o r when he reviews the p a i n t century.  That he d i d not f i n d i t , w i t h one  s h a l l see. The  French,  r e a l i t y to the p o i n t where they had scene, and  mis-  an awareness of r e a l i t y t h e r e can be no g r e a t a r t . I t i s  dence of t h i s balance  he f e l t , were obsessed  or with  become c y n i c a l tox-jards the human  t h i s r e s u l t e d i n s u p e r f i c i a l i t y and hardness i n t h e i r  p a i n t i n g s . The  E n g l i s h had  r e t r e a t e d from r e a l i t y and  a k i n d o f debased i d e a l i s m — t h e and  dirty  cherubim. Without the concept of the i d e a l t h e r e can be no  a r t j without  two  who  he  e l s e but  the s c h o o l of n a t u r a l i s m i n g e n e r a l ) , then he i s as  taken i n h i s a e s t h e t i c t h e o r y as the man and  that  the l i t e r a r y . The  had  accepted  p i c t u r e s q u e , the p s e u d o - h i s t o r i c a l  Americans were n a i v e , h y p o c r i t i c a l , or d e r i v -  a t i v e . To compromise without  l o s i n g one's i n t e g r i t y appeared to  be  30 a d i f f i c u l t task i n the nineteenth any,  century,  and t h e r e were few, i f  who succeeded.  In "The L i a r " James once a g a i n d e a l s w i t h t h e f u n c t i o n o f t h e artist,  b u t he expands t h e theme t o i n c l u d e the n a t u r e  and f u n c t i o n  o f a r t . A l t h o u g h t h e e d i t o r s o f James' notebooks, F.O. M a t t h i e s s e n and  Kenneth Murdock, have suggested t h a t t h i s i s p r i m a r i l y a s t o r y  about a woman whose c o n s c i o u s n e s s  i s e v e n t u a l l y c o r r u p t e d by t h a t o f  h e r husband, a compulsive l i a r , i t seems t o me t h a t i t i s p o s s i b l e t o i n t e r p r e t t h e s t o r y i n another way.  O l i v e r Lyon, whose v e r y name suggests n o t o n l y t h e r i g i d tanism  Puri-  o f O l i v e r Cromwell but a l s o t h e word " l y i n g " , goes t o t h e  country  e s t a t e o f w e a l t h y S i r David Ashmore i n o r d e r t o p a i n t h i s  p o r t r a i t . There i s a house p a r t y i n progress among the guests  when he a r r i v e s , and  a r e t h e sweetheart o f h i s student  days i n Germany,  E v e r i n a B r a n t , and h e r husband, C o l o n e l Capadose. F i r s t  to Oliver's  amusement and then t o h i s h o r r o r , he d i s c o v e r s t h a t n o t o n l y i s t h e C o l o n e l a compulsive l i a r , b u t t h a t E v e r i n a i s aware o f h i s l i e s , and w i l l  even "cover  up" f o r them. As he p a i n t s S i r David's  portrait  he becomes more and more i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e C o l o n e l and what e f f e c t his  dishonesty  i s having  on t h e woman whom he had always  considered  t h e most " s t r a i g h t " o f a l l women. The p l o t c e n t e r s around O l i v e r ' s i n c r e a s i n g l y b o l d attempts t o f i n d out " f o r s u r e " i f E v e r i n a i s  i completely  aware o f h e r husband's immoral c h a r a c t e r and t h e a r t i s t ' s  hope t h a t she w i l l r e a l i z e she has m a r r i e d ,  i f n o t t h e wrong, a t l e a s t  31 the more I n f e r i o r , man. But i n r e a l i t y i t i s n o t E v e r i n a who has come c o r r u p t e d , the  title,  n o r i s i t the C o l o n e l who i s the l i a r  but r a t h e r i t i s O l i v e r . The s t o r y i n v o l v e s  Jamesian a m b i g u i t y , f o r we have n o t o n l y two k i n d s kinds  be-  referred to i n the f a m i l i a r  o f l i a r s but two  o f a r t i s t s , as w e l l as t h r e e d i f f e r e n t p o r t r a i t s , t h e l a t t e r  marking, I t h i n k , O l i v e r ' s r e g r e s s i o n from a r t i s t  t o something worse  than c a r i c a t u r i s t , from a man who sees people as i n d i v i d u a l s t o a man who sees n o t h i n g  but the s u r f a c e  o f t h i n g s , who r e n d e r s  types.  To James, f a s c i n a t e d by the human scene, be i t American, E n g l i s h , F r e n c h o r I t a l i a n , i t appeared s e l f - e v i d e n t , as he says in  h i s e s s a y on Sargent, t h a t " t h e r e  a great portrait."-* nineteenth  century  i s no g r e a t e r work o f a r t than  And i n 1872 he had bemoaned t h e f a c t t h a t t h e had produced no r e a l l y g r e a t p o r t r a i t  painters.  We a r e i n c l i n e d t o t h i n k t h a t our modern degenerescence s i c —we assume i t t o be i n c o n t e s t a b l e — i s l e s s a l o s s of s k i l l than a d e f e c t o f o r i g i n a l v i s i o n . We know more about human c h a r a c t e r , and we have l e s s r e s p e c t f o r human g r a c e s . We take more l i b e r t i e s w i t h those t h a t a r e o f f e r e d us: we a n a l y z e and t h e o r i z e and r u b the bloom off t h e i r mystery.... 0  Lyon i s g u i l t y o f t a k i n g too many l i b e r t i e s and o f s u b j e c t i n g h i s s i t t e r n o t o n l y t o t o o much, but t o the wrong k i n d o f a n a l y s i s , and he  thus stands c o n v i c t e d , n o t o n l y as man but as a r t i s t .  The for  three  p o r t r a i t s themselves stand as o b j e c t i v e c o r r e l a t i v e s  the r a p i d d e c l i n e o f O l i v e r ' s c o n s c i o u s n e s s , and i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g  t h a t l i t t l e o r no a t t e n t i o n has been p a i d t o t h i s f a c t . The portrait  ( o f S i r David Ashmore) i s , we can s a f e l y assume,  first  everything  32 that a p o r t r a i t should  be, a l t h o u g h O l i v e r , who  p r e t t y c y n i c a l by the end  has  already  become  of h i s v i s i t a t S t a y e s , wonders i f i t can  be r e a l l y good when those two  s o c i a l "types,"  w i f e , are so extremely p l e a s e d w i t h the  A r t h u r Ashmore and  his  portrait.  While s p e n d i n g the mornings c l o s e t e d w i t h S i r David, O l i v e r l e a r n s a g r e a t d e a l about h i s f u t u r e s i t t e r and Clement Capadose. S i r David i s the f i r s t  romantic  rival,  t o acknowledge t h a t  the  C o l o n e l i s a master a t the a r t o f s t o r y - t e l l i n g , but he n e v e r a c t u a l l y c a l l s him  a l i a r and  i s very quick  t o p o i n t out t h a t h i s  "lies"  are completely d i s i n t e r e s t e d . I t ' s a n a t u r a l p e c u l i a r i t y — a s you might limp or s t u t t e r or be l e f t - h a n d e d . 7 A t t h i s s t a g e of the s t o r y O l i v e r , who temptible  and  l e a s t h e r o i c of v i c e s , "  t a i n a generous view towards the l i a r  sees l y i n g as "the most con8  can n e v e r t h e l e s s  still  main-  himself.  He's the l i a r p l a t o n i c . . . i t ' s a r t f o r a r t — h e ' s prompted by some l o v e of beauty...He has an i n n e r v i s i o n o f what might have been, of what ought t o be, and he h e l p s on the good cause by the s i m p l e s u b s t i t u t i o n o f a shade. He l a y s on c o l o u r s , as i t were....9 And  O l i v e r recognizes  t h a t i n a sense they a r e  However, the f a c t t h a t he  fellow-artists.  cannot t r a p E v e r i n a i n t o any  s i o n o f g u i l t o r r e g r e t about the moral d i s h o n e s t y leads  to O l i v e r ' s r a p i d moral and  p a i n t i n g Amy,  admis-  o f her husband  a e s t h e t i c c o l l a p s e . W h i l e he i s  the Capadoses' daughter, he f a i l s  o f the c h i l d because he i s too busy b e i n g  to observe the charm  " d a r k l y amused" by  the  p o s s i b i l i t y of her f o l l o w i n g i n h e r f a t h e r ' s f o o t s t e p s . Thus he  finds  33 i t very d i f f i c u l t to paint the child, because he sees her only as an extension of her father and he is too anxious to begin that portrait which will be a revenge on Everina, a "masterpiece of fine characterization, of legitimate treachery;"  10  and besides,  He had dreamed for years of some work that should show the master of the deep vision as well as the mere reporter of the items and here was his subject.H What he does not realize i s that his vision is becoming not deeper, but more shallow, and that his portrait of the Colonel w i l l be anything but a portrait of the "Inner Man."  The very t i t l e which he  wishes he could give the portrait and which he feels he cannot in a l l sense of decency (!) give—'The Liar'—indicates that he has moved from a painter of substance, an interpreter of the whole man, to a recorder of surface—f-rom a connoisseur of the individual to a collector of types. He can render nothing but the " l i a r side" of the Colonel because, for him, there is no longer another side. And so he finishes the major portion of the work very quickly, "astonishingly faster, in spite of i t s much greater 'importance' than the simple faced l i t t l e girl's."''  -2  The implication here i s very  clear. Having lost his a r t i s t i c integrity he has lost the ability to capture the child's innocence on canvas. In the end Everina (who has f i n a l l y gone \d.th the Colonel to have a secret look at the portrait) is absolutely and justifiably horrified at what Lyon has done, and seeing her anguish her husband — o u t of love for her, since he does not really  understand—slashes  the picture. Lyon, who has secretly witnessed the scene, allows the picture to be destroyed because he has seen what he wanted to see —he has visible "proof" that Everina knows her husband i s a l i a r . Keeping the fact of his knowledge hidden and maintaining to the Capadoses that the portrait was destroyed by an unknown vandal, he has his f i n a l crushing defeat when Everina backs up her husband in his declaration that a transient cockney g i r l who was "out to get him" must have destroyed the portrait. Oliver's f i n a l comment i s that Everina's husband "had trained her well." So, satisfied that she i s completely corrupted, and unaware that i t was he who was the l i a r , inferior both as man and artist to the kind-hearted Colonel, he goes on his cynical way. Appearance, reality, portraits and likenesses, the artist as l i a r , and the nature of moral judgements, a l l these themes return again and again in James' novels and stories, and they are problems which were central i n his theory of art and l i f e . In "The Real Thing," written twenty years after "The Madonna of the Future," James i s s t i l l dealing with the problems of art and artists and the relationship between art and reality, only here the questions are dealt with in a much more complex manner. Major and Mrs. Monarch are the real social thing, they have rubbed shoulders with the best people, they have spent lazy afternoons at garden parties and enjoyed, suitably dressed to the tips of their toes, lush morning walks across the moors. They look like the ideal models for  35 i l l u s t r a t i o n s f o r the complete e d i t i o n o f a w r i t e r who wrote societyn o v e l s . Yet f o r the young a r t i s t , whose v e r y f u t u r e i s a t s t a k e i f he does not do w e l l a t t h i s assignment, they a r e u s e l e s s . They a r e the r e a l t h i n g , but "always the same t h i n g . " Mrs. Monarch i s the p e r f e c t l a d y , the major the p e r f e c t gentleman, y e t t h e y a r e always the same l a d y and the same gentleman. T h i s i s why  t h e y photograph so  well—for  f o r i t s success  the photograph o f the n i n e t i e s depended  upon.: the a b s o l u t e i m m o b i l i t y o f the s u b j e c t . And James emphasizes the f a c t t h a t the Monarchs themselves a r e l i k e t h e i r photographs by h a v i n g the Major c o n f i d e to the young a r t i s t Mrs. Monarch she "was  t h a t when he m a r r i e d  known as the B e a u t i f u l S t a t u e , " ^ t h a t i s ,  cold  and immobile.  Set a g a i n s t the Major and h i s w i f e a r e M i s s Churm, a cockney w i t h abundant v i t a l i t y and no s o c i a l g r a c e s , and Oronte, the p e n n i l e s s I t a l i a n w i t h a g i f t f o r mimicry. These two a r e o b v i o u s l y n o t the r e a l s o c i a l t h i n g , but they a r e the r e a l t h i n g so f a r as a r t i s concerned. They have the n e c e s s a r y p l a s t i c q u a l i t y ;  they a r e "round"  r a t h e r t h a n " f l a t , " and because t h e y a r e round they can be l o o k e d a t from more than one a n g l e . Thus i n the end M i s s Churm, who  has, from  the o u t s e t , r e c o g n i z e d the f l a t n e s s o f the Monarchs and has  realized  t h a t they a r e i n f e r i o r models because they cannot, as she puts i t , " t u r n round," g e t s the j o b of p o s i n g f o r the i l l u s t r a t i o n s .  Oronte, the  p e n n i l e s s I t a l i a n , becomes h e r male c o u n t e r p a r t . The Monarchs a r e sent away by the a r t i s t , f o r he knows t h a t he w i l l d e s t r o y h i s a e s t h e t i c s e n s i b i l i t i e s i f he c o n t i n u e s to use them as models, o r even t o p i t y  36 them too much. The meaning o f t h i s s t o r y i s v e r y c l e a r . James  be-  l i e v e s t h a t to c r e a t e a work o f a r t the a r t i s t must be an a l c h e m i s t ; he must take the d r o s s of one k i n d of r e a l i t y g o l d of a n o t h e r — t h e  and  turn i t into  the  g o l d of a r t . I t i s i m p o s s i b l e f o r the a r t i s t  "get behind" models l i k e the Monarchs because they a r e  to  essentially  f l a t and a l r e a d y " f i n i s h e d " works of a r t . Mr. Monarch w i l l do f o r the footman because a footman has no r e a l i t y , c h a r a c t e r who his  i s a v a l e t cum  b u t l e r cum  master d i e s because he t r i e s  ( i n "Brooksmith"  the main  footman ceases t o e x i s t when  t o s t e p out o f h i s r o l e as  flat  c h a r a c t e r and become something which he i s i n c a p a b l e of becoming.) A footman i s not supposed to have any p e r s o n a l i t y , and  thus the Major  makes a p e r f e c t footman.  James appears he was  t o be making another p o i n t here, a p o i n t \tfhich  to s t r e s s i n h i s p r e f a c e s . Mr.  and Mrs. Monarch a r e u n i v e r s a l s  r a t h e r than p a r t i c u l a r s . They " s t a n d f o r " l a d y and  gentleman r a t h e r  than any p a r t i c u l a r l a d y and gentleman. The a r t i s t , however, must b e g i n w i t h the p a r t i c u l a r , the i n d i v i d u a l , and  then r a i s e him, i f  p o s s i b l e , t o a u n i v e r s a l type. A r t i s an i n d u c t i v e p r o c e s s and artist  cannot work the other way  James f e l t he had  t h a t t h i s was  one  the  around i f he i s to produce good a r t .  of the major f l a w s i n The American, s i n c e  conceived of h i s hero as an American type b e f o r e he had  con-  c e i v e d of him as C h r i s t o p h e r Neman. Some o f h i s genre f i g u r e s a r e t y p e s , H e n r i e t t a S t a c k p o l e f o r i n s t a n c e , or Fanny Assingham, but i n the case of the footman, James would see n o t h i n g wrong w i t h a minor f i g u r e b e i n g a  type.  as  37 Oronte's g i f t  o f mimicry i s a l s o important t o James  1  theory  o f a r t . A r t i s a form o f mimicry and t h e a r t i s t ,  i n a c e r t a i n sense,  i s mimicking r e a l i t y r a t h e r than r e p r o d u c i n g i t .  The i d e a o f a r t as  i m i t a t i o n i s as o l d as P l a t o , and James f e e l s s t r o n g l y t h a t t h e r e i s a w o r l d o f d i f f e r e n c e between the l e t t e r o f e x a c t i t u d e , one form o f i m i t a t i o n , and the s p i r i t  o f T r u t h — t h e o t h e r , h i g h e r form o f the  i m a g i n a t i o n . Thus M i s s Churm and Oronte a r e a l s o a r t i s t s i n t h e i r own way. They can take t h e i r r e a l s e l v e s and t r a n s f o r m them, through mime, i n t o a p r i n c e o r a p r i n c e s s , a countess o r a count. T h i s i s something  the Monarchs cannot  understand.  "Do you t h i n k she l o o k s l i k e a R u s s i a n p r i n c e s s ? " Major Monarch asked w i t h l u r k i n g " a l a r m . "When I make h e r , y e s . " "Oh, i f you have t o make h e r — ! " he reasoned, not w i t h o u t p o i n t . "That's the most you can ask. There a r e so many who a r e n o t makeable. "14So t h e Monarchs a r e n o t "makeable" because they a r e u n r e a l — t h e y a r e w a l k i n g photographs, e s s e n t i a l l y f l a t , —and  basically  characterless  t h e r e f o r e they w i l l n o t do except f o r genre p i c t u r e s . M i s s  Churm and Oronte a r e , p a r a d o x i c a l l y , t h e r e a l l a d y and gentleman f o r a e s t h e t i c purposes because  they a r e round and b a s i c a l l y  vital.  Thus a r t does n o t " h o l d a m i r r o r " up t o n a t u r e but a f i l t e r , and t h i s f i l t e r i s t h e v i e w i n g c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f the a r t i s t . A r t i s a t r a n s f o r m a t i o n , a r e v e l a t i o n , r a t h e r than a f a i t h f u l r e p r o d u c t i o n .  T h i s b r i n g s us t o the l a s t p o i n t i n our d i s c u s s i o n o f the t h r e e s t o r i e s . Not o n l y has James v e r y c l e a r l y d e f i n e d some, a t l e a s t , o f h i s a e s t h e t i c c r i t e r i a — i m a g i n a t i o n , s i n c e r i t y , an awareness o f both r e a l and i d e a l — a n d made a statement about t h e n a t u r e  and function of the artist, i n "The Real Thing" he has shown us another quality which he feels i s necessary to the great artist, and that is pity. Terribly aware as he i s that "the real thing" just w i l l not do for the purposes of art, the young artist nevertheless has pity on the Monarchs as people rather than models. He sympathizes with their bleak, humiliating situation, and this i s why he cannot accept their presence in his studio as valet and chambermaid and he sends them away. Unless the artist has pity, has a capacity for kindness towards the imperfections of his fellow men, he i s doomed. Having made a very cursory examination of James' concepts of art and artist as seen in the world of his fiction, we must now turn to an examination of the art criticism i t s e l f . Here ye shall find James reiterating the same views: that the nature of art i s based on some sort of compromise betvreen the real and the ideal; that sincerity is a necessary part of the artist's aesthetic equipment; that the purpose of art i s not to copy but to arrange and transform;, that the /  greatest artists have an awareness of human suffering and of the f u t i l i t y of making absolute moral judgements on any subject^.^ The three stories which have been discussed in this chapter are only three out of many, and some of the others, "The Tone of Time" (1900) or "The Beldonald Holbein" (1901) for example, might have served our purpose equally well. In the New York edition of his novels and tales the stories dealing with the problems of art and the artist run over into Wo  volumes. I have limited myself to three stories dealing with  painters rather than writers since this essay deals only with James' criticism of painting. To get a complete picture of James' "portrait of the artist" one should, of course, read a l l of the stories dealing specifically with this theme.  40 FOOTNOTES "The Madonna of the Future" in Stories of Writers and Artists, ed. F.O. Matthiessen (Binghamton, New lork £no date] ), p. 48. 2 1  Ibid.. p.26. Ibid.. p.48. ^ "The Middle Years" in Fifteen Short Stories by Henry James, ed. Morton Dauwin Zabel (New York, 196l), p.250. 3  5  6  "John S. Sargent" (1893), Pag-, p.227. "The Metropolitan Museunr's 1871 Purchase," PJS., p.57.  7 "The Liar" in The Short Stories of Henry James, s e i . and ed. Clifton Fadiman (New York, 1 9 4 5 ) , p.150. 8  Ibid., p.153.  9  Ibid.. p. 154-  1 0  Ibid., p.158. Ibid.  1 2  Ibid.,  1 3  "The Real Thing" in Stories of Writers and Artists, p.172.  U  p.163.  Jbid., p.177.  15 Of course we come to James' portrait of the true artist only through inference, as he never wrote a novel or tale dealing with such a man. One assumes that for a psychological novelist like James the real success is not good material. Happy artists, like George Eliot's "happy women," have no "histories."  CHAPTER II JAMES IN THE LAND OF THE PHILISTINES English painting interests me chiefly, not as painting, but as English....It throws a light which i s to me a l ways f r e 3 h , always abundant, always fortunate, on the turn of the English mind. ("London Pictures"—1882) By 1837 and Victoria's accession to the throne, the age which was to be remembered by the succeeding century as the high-water mark in bad taste and banality was well under way. The stately homes were s t i l l there (and even more stately than ever thanks to the renewed interest i n classical "line"), but the merchant-prince was firmly established i n the national counting-house, and having made his fortune and a bit to spare he was now eager to have a stately home of his own and to buy the necessary cultural trappings which would tone down some of his appearance of being a newly-minted coin i n the social currency of the times. Naked he may have come into the world, but by Jove, by George, by Jingo, he was going to see that a l l traces of his nakedness had disappeared before he l e f t . Thus he turned to artcollecting, not only as an escape from the smoky reality of the Indust r i a l Revolution but also as a convenient means of covering up his social insecurity. In his desire to purchase a link with the old aristocratic traditions which he publicly despised and privately envied he inaugurated one of the most incredible periods of picture-  buying and picture-selling that the world has ever seen. For after a l l , the absence of an "h" here or there might not seem such a handicap i f an "R.A." or two or three were prominently displayed upon the drawing room wall. This i n i t s e l f would not have been a bad thing —one's basic lack of culture i s no indication of one's potentiality in that direction—but the nouveaux riches had very definite ideas as to what was to go inside the elaborate g i l t frame besides the necessary i n i t i a l s i n the lower right-hand corner. This was a public which knew what i t wanted and got i t — g o t i t with".a vengeance. What made i t so amazing to the spectator who came into this tight l i t t l e island from the outside was the fact that the artists who produced this ready-made culture did not seem to notice, or perhaps did not seem to care, that the sound of so much gold exchanging hands might prove to be the death-rattle of British a r t . The artist was adored and lionized to the point where he might have a l l the appearances of a "lucky stockbroker," but art i t s e l f was being debased. In the way in which everything is painted down to the level of a vulgar Philistinism there i s something s i g nally depressing. And this painting down, as I c a l l i t , seems to go on without a struggle, without a protest on the part of the domesticated muse, with a strange smug complacency on the part of the a r t i s t s . 1  This i s , of course, James speaking, but i t might easily have been Arnold or Ruskin or, i f pitched in a slightly higher key, Whistler. For into this gay, glittering world of the London of the seventies James had come to report on the English aesthetic scene for the folks back home (the "folks" being limited, of course, to  the readers of the Atlantic, the Hation and the North American Review). He came, he saw, and he criticized. He, who was acquainted with the aims, ideals and results of the old masters (admittedly, few of them had sprung from Anglo-Saxon s o i l ) , had now come face to face with the new, and he saw reflected above and below the "line" not only the s t e r i l i t y and smugness of a society whose aesthetic sensibilities had been debased, but also a blatant rebuttal of a l l that he had ever thought or written about the nature and function of art. As Whistler was to say, art was "on the town," and certainly i t must be so for, with a few qualified exceptions, she had certainly not been frequenting the galleries. Where was style? Where was the old nobility of concept? Where, i n the name of Titian and Tintoretto, was Art? The thin cultural a i r of America, of which James had complained so bitterly, was perhaps, on second thought, a far better thing than the thick fog of English Philistinism. He could have become didactic, an American Ruskin, and hammered away at the stray sheep i n order to bring them back into the fold. But this he did not do. He could have embraced the doctrines of Pater and turned away from society towards l'art pour l'art. But this again he did not do. Instead, he sees the irony of the v/hole thing and remains not only to criticize but to smile. And after his i n i t i a l shock he begins to shape his impressions into beautiful, nearly faultless essays and notes which are fascinating, not only to the student of James, but to anyone interested in the social history of art. He watches the spectators as closely as he observes the paintings, and while he i s  taking mental notes for his articles he i s storing away notes of another sort, anecdotes, vignettes, character sketches—which he w i l l later use in his oi-ra art,  the art of fiction.  James quickly recognized that most of nineteenth century British art f e l l into two categories—the anecdotal and the pseudohistorical. In 1877 he writes, i n a review of "The Picture Season i n London:" That the people he lives among are not a r t i s t i c , i s , for the contemplative stranger, one of the foremost lessons of English l i f e ; and the exhibition of the Academy sets the o f f i c i a l seal upo this admonition....The pictures ...are "subjects," they belong to what the French c a l l the anecdotical class. You immediately perceive, moreover, that they are subjects addressed to a particularly unimaginative and unaesthetic order—to the taste of the British merchant and paterfamilias and his excellently regulated family. What this taste appears to demand of a picture i s that i t shall have a taking t i t l e , like a three-volume novel or an article in a magazine; that i t shall embody i n its lower flights some comfortable incident of the daily l i f e of our period, suggestive more especially of its gentilities and proprieties and familiar moralities, and i n i t s l o f t i e r scope some picturesque episode of history or fiction which may be substantiated by a long explanatory extract i n the catalogue. n  3  I have quoted this passage at some length because i n slightly less than two hundred words James has very accurately described both the  prevailing "schools" of, and prevailing attitudes towards, Vic-  torian art.  The lesser academicians such as Marcus Stone made money  hand over f i s t depicting "some comfortable incident of the daily l i f e of our period" with such "taking t i t l e s " as ' I l y en a toujours un Autre,' while the real Olympians, Leighton and Poynter, provided such picturesque episodes from history or mythology as 'Daphnephoria,'  'The Garden of the Hesperides, or 'Israel i n Egypt.'41  The Pre-  Raphaelites provided picturesque episodes from fiction and often accompanied them by l i t t l e sonnets or explanations x^hieh were posted next to the picture. James agreed with Taine that British painting was only in a secondary sense plastic; that the plastic quality i s not what English spectators look for in a picture, or what the artist has taken the precaution of putting into i t . 5 The "plastic" quality, by which James meant the organic quality, the sense of forms as conceived i n space and in relationship to one another, the sense that the artist had "gone behind" the surface of things, was conspicuous chiefly by i t s absence. Even of Frederic Leighton, one of the few British artists whom he thought worthy of the name of artist, James can say that more than any English painter he devotes himself to the plastic, but his efforts remain strongly and b r i l l i a n t ly superficial. 0  And elsewhere, again commenting on Leighton: In this plasticism there is something vague and conciliatory; i t i s as i f he thought that to be more plastic than that would be not quite gentlemanly.' Leighton was considered by many to be the perfect gentleman, embodying both physically and mentally a l l the ideals of the classical age — t h e golden age which the Victorians tried to imitate and deluded themselves into thinking they had reproduced. Both the man and his painting stood for the "grand manner," the "ideal type," the "perfection of form" which so appealed to the English temperament.  A6 As John L. Sweeney points out, Leighton was the prototype for James' Lord Mellefont in "The Private Life" (1892), a man who had no persona l , but only a public, reality. James feels that Leighton's creations are  similar to their creator, for although he had "an exquisite sense  of form," "infallible taste and discretion,"9 a "great sense of 8  beauty,"  10  there remained about his work a sense of "so much beauty  and so l i t t l e passion, so much seeking and so l i t t l e f i n d i n g , "  11  which  resulted in his painting being f i n a l l y recognized by James, i f by no one else, as essentially superficial. Yet to the British public Leighton,  while he was alive, was the very archetype of the artist prince,  a man whose sense of what was done and what was not done was absolutely i n f a l l i b l e . James therefore sees as a terrible indication of the fickleness of an artist's public that when the sisters of Lord Leighton had offered his beautiful home "as a memorial to the nation i f the nation would subscribe to buy i t , the nation, scarce up from i t s genuflections at St. Pauls, buttoned its pockets without so much as scratching its Yet  head."  12  Leighton and Poynter (who was Leighton's disciple and for  whom James had a certain qualified regard) did not distress him so much as the lesser academicians such as Stone, Richmond, Alma-Tadema, Pettie and Fieldes. Richmond's portrait of Gladstone, exhibited at the  Grosvenor Gallery i n 1882, incites James to his early "tomahawk  wielding" method, and his comment would doubtless have been applauded by the barbed butterfly of London society, Whistler himself. I cannot leave the Grosvenor without saying a word about  47 Mr. W.B. Richmond's extraordinary portrait of Mr. Gladstone, in a crimson gown and in his most uplifted mood. ...There has lately been more than one portrait of Mr. Gladstone from the theological point of view, but i t was reserved for Mr. Richmond to depict him as of A f r i can blood, of distracted intellect, and of the Methodist persuasion....It i s the last word of Philistinism—a character in which i t must be confessed that i t has many formidable competitors.^ James i s no respector of academies and perhaps i t i s just as well that his articles were not appearing in the English magazines, for William Gaunt reports that When, in the course of a House of Commons debate, the Sir Robert Peel of the time jibed at R.A.'s as 'people of no very good taste,' Leighton, in superb anger, consulted Lord Redesdale as to 'calling put' Peel and defending Academic taste with the duelling pistol.14 Of course Leighton was President of the Academy at that time and perhaps f e l t that something above and beyond the c a l l of duty had to be done in his o f f i c i a l capacity as Lord of Olympus. But what would have occurred i f Watts (whom James had at one time considered the greatest living British portrait painter) had read this? Mr. Watts has sometimes risen very highj he has had the great thing, he has had 'style'—and this leads us to draw the curtain of silence over this ill-starred performance which, we should imagine, would expose i t s author to the penalties attached to that misdemeanor known to English law as 'threatening the Royal Family'?  5  One has a certain relish in the idea of James going the round of the galleries impeccably dressed, beautifully spoken, outwardly paying a l l the necessary homage to the necessary people, while inwardly he was composing paragraphs like the above. But i f James had l i t t l e stomach for the Academicians he was equally dubious of the majority of the work produced by the "enemy  48  camp," the P r e - R a p h a e l i t e s . He admits t h a t the p a i n t i n g of t h i s c u r i o u s group f a l l s i n t o the c l a s s of " e r u d i t e p a i n t i n g " and agrees  t h a t when the c r i t i c s  he  say  ' P a i n t i n g i s a d i r e c t r e n d e r i n g of something seen i n the world we l i v e i n and l o o k a t , we l o v e and a d m i r e , ' . . . i n t h a t sense t h e r e i s c e r t a i n l y no p a i n t i n g here.l° l e t t h e r e i s one member of t h i s " m o r b i d l y i n g e n i o u s " s c h o o l whoseworks never f a i l  to f a s c i n a t e him—Edward Burne-Jones, a man  not only a great c o l o u r i s t James h e r e ) but who  who  was  (and most modern c r i t i c s would agree w i t h  a l s o possessed  the shaping s p i r i t of the  a t i o n . James says t h a t the a r t of the e n t i r e Brotherhood  imagin-  is  the a r t of c u l t u r e , of r e f l e c t i o n , o f a e s t h e t i c r e f i n e ment, o f people who l o o k a t the world and l i f e not d i r e c t l y , as i t were, and i n a l l i t s a c c i d e n t a l r e a l i t y , but i n the r e f l e c t i o n and ornamental p o r t r a i t o f i t f u r n i s h e d by a r t i t s e l f i n o t h e r m a n i f e s t a t i o n s . . . l i t e r ature, h i s t o r y , erudition.!7 N e v e r t h e l e s s he s t i l l admires t h e i r a b i l i t y and  to create  compositions,  complex r e l a t i o n s h i p s . U n l i k e Ruskin, whose championship o f the  P r e - R a p h a e l i t e s was  based on h i s own  d i d a c t i c t h e o r y of a r t , which  i n c l u d e d "an unswerving f i d e l i t y t o the f a c t s of n a t u r e , an for  t h i n g s medieval, and  enthusiasm  the importance of a pronounced C h r i s t i a n  c o l o u r i n g , " James excuses the P r e - R a p h a e l i t e s f o r these " f a u l t s " admires t h e i r c o l o u r , t h e i r s i n c e r i t y and,  and  (misplaced though i t might b e ) ,  above a l l , t h e i r i m a g i n a t i o n . He a l l o w s t h a t a l l of Burne-Jones'  work i s open to the k i n d of c r i t i c i s m which i t r e c e i v e d : charges u n r e a l i t y of s u b j e c t matter, treatment  monotonous type of f i g u r e and  of  artificial  of theme, but he adds t h a t ,  w h i l e the b r i l l i a n t l y s u g g e s t i v e s i d e o f h i s work h o l d s  U9 a perpetual revel of i t s own, the s t r i c t l y plastic side never really lapses.18 Burne-Jones had a sense of form, a conceptual imagination, and for this reason James places him at the head of modern English painters and "very high among a l l the painters of this degenerate time." To emphasize and clarify this point we might examine his distinction between the figures in M i l l a i s  1  'Bride of Lammermoor' and those in  paintings by Burne-Jones. Millais makes figures of them and nothing more; he does not make pictures in the sense that Mr. Burne-Jones does. The figures are lighted anyhow or not at a l l ; they are not seen in relation to the rest of the canvas....^ Since James f e l t that most British art was not concerned with the plastic quality, when he finds i t , whether i t appears in Leighton or Burne-Jones, Classical Idealist or Ideal Medievalist, he i s eager to praise and quick to excuse other, more venial weaknesses in the painters who are capable of producing i t . In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man i s king. James did not believe in retreating from reality, or perhaps we should say he did not accept the sort of retreat which was offered by the Academy or the Brotherhood. If Camden Town were here and now, then one made the best of i t and did not look backwards in an attempt to re-create a Corinth or a Camelot. A link with tradition did'not mean for James an a r t i f i c i a l l y contrived facsimile of tradition i t s e l f . It i s a far cry from James' "sense of the past" to the British artists' aim for a reproduction of the past. One i s a dynamic, the other a fundamentally static, view of l i f e .  50 James saw the Victorian Age as a century i n which the aims of art had been reduced, with the tacit consent of the artist, to a desire for an image which had before anything else to t e l l a story...to appeal to the sense of the romantic and the anecdotic, the supposedly historic, the explicitly pathetic. 20  Would i t not then seem logical and excusable i f he should be attracted to an aesthetic theory which did away with the public altogether—the doctrine of l'art pour l'art? In 1897 he writes, What would become of any' individual who should directly challenge the British public with the vulgarity and ignorance that i s the effect of so many of the acres of canvas in question to nail upon i t with a positive frenzy of the hammer? ! 2  But such a challenge had been flung do\m long before this by Pater in the sixties and seventies, and later by Whistler and Wilde. These three, with varying degrees of sincerity, had turned away from the idea that anything could be done with or for the "British paterfamilias oo  and his excellently regulated family"  and had taken up the French  attitude that the Palace of Art was a select club to which only the elect, those who gave proof of heightened sensibilities, could belong. This Palace had no windows opening out on to "the human scene;" indeed i t was carefully sealed off from any possible draughts of cold reality, and turned a blank and windowless face to the world outside. The new Jerusalem of Art was built on a foundation of sensuous appreciation of colour, light, shade, and harmony. Subject matter had nothing to do with painting, nor did history. Beauty was a value in i t s e l f , having no social aim, but only a direct appeal to the  51 individual. In place of the old democracy of vulgarity, the aesthetes, the a n t i l i t e r a l i s t s , the poets, philosophers and painters such as Swinburne, Pater and Whistler, established a new aristocracy of taste. If Ruskin had turned the Palace of Art into an assize court, a point to which we shall return belovr, and the public had turned i t into a market place, the aesthetes attempted to remodel i t along the lines of an Eastern temple, mysterious, secret, known only to a few initiates who tiptoed noiselessly to the nave and deposited exquisitely wrought offerings dedicated to the only true religion—Art. It was an appealing doctrine. Not only did i t offer an escape from the ugliness of the "real" world and do away with the fickle public upon which the artist in the real world had to depend, i t also, by eliminating society from i t s f i e l d of vision, did away with such boring social problems as the question of morality or immorality i n art. James had said that the question of morality did not enter into art. He had also implied that the expanding consciousness should grow and grow until i t became beautifully AWARE. Was Lambert Strether's "Live, live a l l you can," to become a rephrasing of Pater's "burn always with a hard gemlike flame"? James has certainly been considered an aesthete in the pejorative sense by many c r i t i c s , and i n Boon. The Mind of the Race, Wells' hero compares the novels of Henry James to an empty, though beautiful cathedral, but adds that the cathedral has been dedicated to nothing of any social significance—a broken egg shell, a dead kitten, a piece of s t r i n g . ^ 2  But there i s a basic difference beWeen Pater's exhortation and Strether's remark which i s not, perhaps, immediately apparent when the two statements are taken out of context. In Pater's scheme of things the emphasis is chiefly on art; in Strether's philosophy, the accent is placed on l i f e . Louis Kronenberger in his introduction to the Mentor edition of The Renaissance agrees with Edward Thomas' statement that Pater was a man whose "conception of art excludes that bolder type of i t which deals confidently...with l i f e , conflict, evil." ^ 2  James' conception of art, like his conception of l i f e , i n -  sists upon the viewing consciousness's awareness of l i f e , conflict and e v i l . And to be aware of these things one must be aware of the existence of other consciousnesses, of people in relationship to one another as well as to art. James may believe that one should base one' l i f e on certain aesthetic principles, but this i s not the same thing as basing one's l i f e on "aestheticism." He might agree with Wilde that l i f e should imitate art, but he would add that without direct reference to l i f e , art is nothing. However that may be, i t i s interesting to observe that style and arrangement are not enough for James, and to see that the basic insincerity of the aesthetes was far worse, to him, than the misguided sincerity of the Academy or the Pre-Raphaelite movement. And since the self-appointed leader of the aesthetic movement in English painting was a Frenchified American, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, i t would be well to examine James' scattered comments on the man whom London Society called "The Butterfly."  53 In 1878 James reviewed an e x h i b i t i o n a t the Grosvenor G a l l e r y , a g a l l e r y opened  by S i r C o u t t s L i n d s a y i n the same y e a r , on the  t h e o r y , a c c o r d i n g t o James, t h a t t h e r e i s a demand f o r a p l a c e o f e x h i b i t i o n exempted both from the e x c l u s i v e n e s s and the p r o m i s c u i t y o f B u r l i n g t o n House, i n which p a i n t e r s may communicate w i t h the p u b l i c more d i r e c t l y than under the academic d i s p e n s a t i o n , and i n which the more ' p e c u l i a r ones i n e s p e c i a l may have a chance t o get popular.25 1  There were no r e s t r i c t i o n s  on who  had the r i g h t t o e x h i b i t a t the  Grosvenor, but n a t u r a l l y the more " p e c u l i a r " p a i n t e r s such as Holman Hunt, F o r d Madox Brown, Burne-Jones and W h i s t l e r made up the m a j o r i t y o f the e x h i b i t o r s . T h i s was not a S a l o n des Refuses, and  painters  might be seen b o t h a t the Grosvenor and the Academy i n the same "Season," but some o f the p a i n t e r s , who or were d e s p i s e d by i t ,  e i t h e r d e s p i s e d the Academy  embraced the o p p o r t u n i t y so m u n i f i c e n t l y p r e -  s e n t e d . W h i s t l e r , arch-enemy o f Academic  a r t , *jas always much i n e v i -  dence. He was n e v e r the " l i o n o f the e x h i b i t i o n " — t h a t honour  was  a s s i g n e d , by James a t any r a t e , t o B u r n e - J o n e s — b u t h i s work n e v e r f a i l e d t o i n t e r e s t h i s f e l l o w American, and James' comments on W h i s t l e r a r e c r u c i a l n o t o n l y because they r e f l e c t h i s a t t i t u d e t o wards the a e s t h e t i c movement, but a l s o because t h e y show how  James  c o u l d change or modify h i s o p i n i o n o f a p a i n t e r without f e e l i n g  any  need f o r a p o l o g y o r any sense o f a l o s s o f " f a c e . " Thus i n 1877  he  writes: I w i l l not speak o f Mr. W h i s t l e r ' s 'Nocturnes i n B l a c k and Gold' and i n 'Blue and S i l v e r , ' o f h i s 'Arrangements,' 'Harmonies,' and 'Impressions,' because I f r a n k l y c o n f e s s they do n o t amuse me....It may be a narrow p o i n t o f view,  54  but to be interesting i t seems to me that a picture should have some relation to l i f e as well as to painting. Mr. Whistler's experiments have no relation whatever to l i f e ; they have only a relation to painting.26 And a year later he holds much the same opinion: Mr. Whistler's productions are pleasant things to have about, so long as one regards them as simple objects — a s incidents of furniture or decoration....His manner is very much that of the 'French Impressionists,' and, like them, he suggests the rejoinder that a picture is not an impression but an expression—just as a poem or a piece of music i s . 2 7  But by 1882 the essential charm of Whistler's painting is beginning to affect James' own "aesthetic sensibilities" and he can admit that Mr. Whistler is a votary of 'tone;' his manner of painting is to breathe upon the canvas. .It is not too much to say that he has to a certain point, the creative afflatus. 8 2  Yet he s t i l l prefers Whistler's portrait of his mother, which had been previously exhibited in France and which was, in that year, on exhibition in New York. He sees i t "a masterpiece of tone, of feeling, of the power to render l i f e , " ^ although of course Whistler would 2  have argued that i t was never intended to "render l i f e " and that his mother was just a stage-prop in the total arrangement, of equal aesthetic value with a piece of a r t i s t i c a l l y arranged "blue" or the line of a door. And in 1897, at an exhibition of Dramatic and Musical Art, he says that to turn from Whistler's portrait of Henry Irving as Philip of "Queen Mary" to the rest of the exhibition is to drop'from the world of distinction, of perception, of beauty and mystery and perpetuity, i n t o — w e l l , a very ordinary place.30 His wonder is "reintensified at the attitude of a stupid generation  55 toward an art and a taste so r a r e . J a m e s  i s s t i l l viewing Whist-  ler's paintings in which humans appear as "portraits," and i s therefore contradicting the spirit in which they were produced, but he i s perceptive enough to realize that Whistler's work has a charm which, in a l l fairness, he i s unable to ignore. The "portrait" of Henry Irving i s perhaps one of the most famous nineteenth century paintings, not because i t i s now considered to be a great work of art—none of Whistler's work can really lay claim to that distinction—but because i t figured i n one of the two most astonishing court cases ever to appear on the statutes of British law-books. The f i r s t was the Whistler-Ruskin t r i a l in 1878, the second, the better-known and much less amusing ordeal of Oscar Wilde. Any discussion of nineteenth century art and aesthetics must take into account these two t r i a l s , but i t i s with the f i r s t that we are primarily concerned in this essay. In 1877 Ruskin's peculiar periodical Fors Clayigera (through which he hoped to light a few candles in the wilderness of the British working-class mind) contained a passing reference to one of Whistler's nocturnes which was then on exhibition at the Grosvenor Gallery. Ruskin accused Whistler of ridiculing the British public by daring to exhibit and, what i s more, daring to put a price on, such a mockery of art. 'I have seen and heard much of cockney impudence before now, but never expected to hear a coxcomb ask 200 guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the publics' face.32  56 Whistler took Raskin to t r i a l and asked £1,000 damages. James was in London at the time and he recorded his impressions of the affair in an article to the Nation. The f i r s t thing that came home to him was how well the t r i a l served to illustrate that peculiar turn of the English mind which thought that questions of art could be decided bylaw. If i t fthe trial} had taken place in some Western American town, i t would have been called provincial and barbarious....Beneath the stately towers of Westminster i t scarcely wore a higher aspect.33 To James who saw art not only as a "refuge" but, as has been mentioned before, as a sort of moated stronghold which can only be crossed over by a slender bridgework of elementary culture, the idea that a jury of "ordinary tax-payers" were asked to decide, under oath, the question of whether Whistier's painting was really art, high art, and therefore worth two hundred guineas, was incredible. But decide the jury did, or that is they did and they did not, for although Whistler won, he received only nominal damages of one farthing. The second point which interests James is the question of what Whistler ought to have done. Admittedly Ruskin's comments were libelous and James takes a certain delight in seeing him "brought up as a disorderly character,"34 but he also knew that the t r i a l had done more harm than good, and that Whistler was mistaken i f he thought that either criticism or art could really be brought to t r i a l . Ruskin was at fault: he had become, in James' opinion, a "chartered libertine" and a "general scold."35  But  Whistler had reduced art to a laughing stock and this was a dangerous thing to do.  57 An interesting question raises i t s c r i t i c a l head at this point. To what extent did James recognize that this was a t r i a l between the anti-literalists and the l i t e r a l i s t s , the dispute between Whistler and Ruskin merely having brought to a head the widening gap between these two opposing "schools"? It is a gap which has never been closed, and as this was also a t r i a l between aestheticism and those who  be-  lieved that art had a duty towards society, the split between art and society was also observed to widen from this time on. For really, Whistler won. Ruskin threw up his hands at this blow to the liberty of free speech and resigned his Slade Professorship at Oxford.3° From this point on the aesthetes had i t their way and the WhistlerRuskin t r i a l merely served as a convenient launching pad for the real era of l'art pour l'art which was to continue in a blaze of glory until 1895 when the British public, enraged by the dirty tricks which had been played on i t in the name of Art, shook i t s powerful head and advancing swiftly and methodically devoured not only Wilde, the unfortunate scapegoat, but the whole aesthetic movement. The middle class had gained control again—or so they thought. Thus James found l i t t l e to praise and much to blame in English contemporary art. If the public was to blame so also was the artist for allowing himself to be either dictated to by the Philistines or self-deluded into believing that one could successfully deal with the problems of art by retreating from the problems of l i f e , the problems of the here and now.  Painting was neither history nor literature nor  religion, and what he saw on the walls of Burlington House or  the Grosvenor Gallery made him decide, rather regretfully, that Art, as he conceived of i t , could not be found in England. If I have dealt at some length with the Whistler-Ruskin  t r i a l , i t is because James'  account of i t establishes certain rather important truths about his attitudes towards artists and art criticism in general. We have seen that when i t is a question of the voice of the artist as against the voice of the c r i t i c James comes down heavily and sympathetically on the side of the artist, even when, as i s the case with Whistler, he does not really care for the artist's productions. It also indicates that James believes that destructive criticism is essentially a bad thing and that the purpose of criticism is to enlighten the public and not to destroy the artist. In criticism, as in society i t s e l f , there are certain limits of decency beyond which one must not venture. Thus pity, in i t s widest sense, becomes the mark of a good c r i t i c as well as one of the attributes of a. good artist.  FOOTNOTES  1  "Picture Season in London" (1877), P - E . , p.148.  2 In his famous "Ten O'Clock" lecture f i r s t delivered in St. James Hall, Piccadilly, 1885. 3  ZiE-, p.148.  ^ cf. William Gaunt, Victorian Olympus (New York, 1952) for an amusing description of the Olympians, both major and minor. 5  "The Royal Academy" (1878), PaE., pp.167-68.  6  "London Pictures" (1882), P^E., p.214.  7  "The Royal Academy," PJ3., p.l68.  8  Ibid.  9  Ibid.  1 0  1 1  "Royal Academy," PjE., p.168. "Lord Leighton and Ford Madox Brown" (1897), PaE., p.249.  1 2  Ibid.. p.248.  1 3  "London Pictures," PJS., p.213.  ^  Victorian Olympus, p.158.  15 "London Pictures," P.E., pp.211-12. James i s referring to Watt's, portrait of the Prince of Wales. 16 "Picture Season in London," P.E.. p.145. 1 7  Ibid.. p.144-  18 Ibid.. p.145. 1 9  "The Royal Academy," P^E., p.170.  2 0  "Picture Season in London," PaE., p.148.  2 1  "The Guildhall and the Royal Academy," P^E., p.256.  22 "Picture Season in London," PaE., p.148.  For an account of the James and Wells debate on the art of fiction see Henry James and H.G. Wells, ed. Edel and Ray (London, 1958). 3  2  ^ Walter Pater, The Renaissance (New York, 1959), x.  2 5  2 6  "The Grosvenor Gallery," PJS., p.l65. "Picture Season in London," PjE., p .143.  2 7  "The Grosvenor Gallery," PJC., p.165.  2 8  "London Pictures,'  29  1  PJS., p.209.  Ibid.  3 0  "The Grafton Galleries," PJ2., p.259.  3 1  Ibid., p.258.  Quoted by James in his article "On Whistler and Ruskin" (1878), PJS., p. 172 3 2  3 3  3  Ibid.. p.173-  ^ Ibid.. p.174.  3 5  Ibid.  ° cf. William Gaunt, The Aesthetic Adventure (London, 1945), pp.96-97. 3  CHAPTER III JAMES IN THE LAND OF SCIENCE AND STYLE "The French don't care what they do, so long as they pronounce i t properly."—Professor Henry Higgins. A discussion of Whistler leads one naturally to Paris and an examination of James' views on French art. The "Butterfly" and the writer George Moore were two of;the earliest advocates of l'art pour !  l'art and f l i t t e d back and forth across the channel proclaiming to the English artists that the flowers of aestheticism could be c u l t i vated even in the barren s o i l of England. Moreover, James saw a definite link between the Impressionist Movement and Whistler's paintings, although in fact Whistler, like Degas, was more interested in arrangement and harmony of pictorial elements than he  vias  in accidents of  light and shade. James' attitude towards a l l contemporary art seems to have been influenced by how much, or how l i t t l e , of France he could find in i t . For although he f e l t that the French were capable of painting, and writing, with great "style," a quality which the English, with the exception of Leighton, Millais and Burne-Jones, so obviously lacked, James recognized, on the whole, that they were i n capable of painting with sincerity. With one or two exceptions, then, we find that his opinion of French art and artists was decidedly negative.  62 The P r e - R a p h a e l i t e s may were " c y n i c s ,  n l  have been "pedants," but the Frenchmen  and the f i r s t was  a minor f a u l t when compared w i t h  the second. Yet James must have been aware t h a t the F r e n c h  artist  i had f a r more excuse f o r h i s c y n i c i s m than the E n g l i s h a r t i s t had f o r his  pedantry or b l a t a n t P h i l i s t i n i s m . F o r s i x t y - t h r e e y e a r s France  had been r a c k e d w i t h r e v o l u t i o n and c o u n t e r - r e v o l u t i o n u n t i l , W i l l i a m Gaunt p o i n t s out, a l l t h a t was  left  g e o i s i e , the u n f i t and the d i s e n c h a n t e d . American  2  was  as  a tight-fisted  What was  and E n g l i s h a r t i s t a f t e r the 1914--18 War  bour-  t o happen t o the had happened i n  France much e a r l i e r . R e v o l t became the norm, and c y n i c i s m , f i r s t adopted as a defense mechanism, became an a c c e p t e d , even  admired,  a t t i t u d e of mind, a t l e a s t by the middle o f the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y . P o l i t i c a l r e v o l u t i o n , the q u e s t i o n i n g o f the E s t a b l i s h m e n t , l e d t o a e s t h e t i c r e v o l u t i o n and the q u e s t i o n i n g of the Academy. P a i n t i n g moved away from Greece and Rome ( and the a c c e p t e d academic  neo-  c l a s s i c i s m o f David and h i s f o l l o w e r s ) and i n t o the open a i r ,  and  thence onward i n t o the v e r y c e n t e r o f F r a n c e , the g r e a t c i t y o f P a r i s h e r s e l f — h e r b o u l e v a r d s , h e r c a f e s , h e r opera houses, h e r r a i l w a y s t a t i o n s . D u r i n g t h i s time England underwent a b l o o d l e s s r e v o l u t i o n which e s t a b l i s h e d a new  c l a s s , as had happened i n F r a n c e , but w i t h o u t  so much s u f f e r i n g , so many l o s t i l l u s i o n s . Consequently the r e l a t i o n between a r t i s t and s o c i e t y was  n o t , a t l e a s t u n t i l the 1880's, based  on q u i t e the same mutual contempt as t h a t between the a r t i s t s o c i e t y i n F r a n c e . The  and  c i t i z e n - k i n g s o f England wanted c u l t u r e a t any  p r i c e ; the c i t i z e n - k i n g s o f France would not touch i t — a t  any  price.  Thus while the artist in England rubbed.shoulders with the great and nearly-great, the French artist was held up as an object of ridicule, a useless and obsolete anachronism. Perhaps James, being at bottom an American, however much he roamed through the great glittering gallery that was Europe, was not quite able to understand the psychology of French art, for mutual suffering brings knowledge of a far more vivid kind than i s brought., about by the desire to "appreciate," no matter how much empathetic sincerity goes along with i t . The Frenchman could no longer trust his ears or even his inherited values, so he turned more and more towards science and the testimony of his eyes. Zola, Flaubert, the brothers Goncourt, were a l l participants in the general movement towards science, which deals with the "real" and the known, and away from idealism and the unknowable. And i t would appear that James, concerned as he was with his own craft, the craft of fiction, was, when i t comes to his judgements on the plastic arts of France, a victim of "influences," of pre-conceived prejudices and dislikes. Observe how he draws analogies between French art and literature i n the following statements: On Gerome: His pictures are for art what the novels of M. Gustave Flaubert are for literature, only decidedly inferior.3 On Decamps: A painting by Decamps seems to us to bear about the same relation to probable fact as some first-rate t i t b i t of Edgar Poe or Charles Baudelaire.4 On Daubigny: It i s , perhaps, as a whole, a l i t t l e blank and thin;  but i t i s i n d e f i n a b l y honnete. I t reminds us o f one o f George Sand's r u r a l n o v e l s — F r a n c o i s l e Champi o r the P e t i t e F a d e t t e . 5  On t h e other hand D e l a c r o i x ,  o f whom he was " i n t e n s e l y f o n d , "  D  appears  t o him as "a fragment from Shelley."'''  Yet i t i s n o t f a i r t o s a y t h a t James i s c o m p l e t e l y b l i n d t o what was happening i n France because o f h i s p s y c h o l o g i c a l o r l i t e r a r y l i m i t a t i o n s and p r e j u d i c e s . Having observed i n our examination o f the three s t o r i e s t h a t James does n o t b e l i e v e t h a t i t i s t h e f u n c t i o n of the a r t i s t  t o be l i t e r a l  n o r t h e purpose o f a r t t o " h o l d a m i r r o r  up t o n a t u r e , " be i t human o r e x t e r n a l , i t f o l l o w s t h a t he w i l l have t o r e j e c t t h e R e a l i s t s and N a t u r a l i s t s on a e s t h e t i c grounds. To him t h i s s o r t o f r e a l i s m can r e s u l t o n l y i n s u p e r f i c i a l i t y , and no amount of s c i e n c e  o r s k i l l can c o v e r up f o r t h e l a c k o f i m a g i n a t i o n  which  goes i n t o such works. I t produces c o l d , s t a t i c , and t e r r i f y i n g l y f e c t productions  per-  which a r e a b s o l u t e l y empty o f f e e l i n g o r i m a g i n a t i o n .  We have seen t h a t Major and Mrs.  Monarch a r e t h e " r e a l t h i n g " i n  s o c i o - s c i e n t i f i c terms and t h a t t h e few i l l u s t r a t i o n s which the p a i n t e r does o f them a r e supposed t o have h i n d e r e d on.  h i s a r t from t h a t time  O l i v e r Lyon s e t s out t o make a p a t h o l o g i c a l s t u d y o f a l i a r , and  what he ends up w i t h i s a s c i e n t i f i c document which i s n e i t h e r  "true"  to C o l o n e l Capadose n o r t o the fundamental p r i n c i p l e s o f a r t . The I t a l i a n s c u l p t o r i n "The Madonna o f t h e F u t u r e "  creates  realistic  monkeys and c a t s i n grotesque p a r o d i e s  o f human i n t e r c o u r s e and d e -  c l a r e s t h a t " a l l human l i f e  Yet t h e young James turns away  in  i s there."  d i s g u s t . The work o f Gerome, one o f t h e l e a d i n g members o f the  65  Realist school in the seventies i s particularly distasteful to James. In a comment on the 'Combat de Coqs' he says that this painting is a capital example of the master, and presents in remarkably convenient shape the substance of his talent — t h e indefinable hardness of his work....There is a total lack of what we may c a l l moral atmosphere, of sentimental redundancy or emotional by-play. James feels that the artist in question, having no interest in humani t y as anything more than a convenient means of showing his s k i l l , has painted an immoral picture—immoral because i t is insincere as well as ugly. However, of the f i r s t of the three great revolutionaries in French art, Eugene Delacroix (1799-1863), James cannot say enough. Although he f e l t Delacroix to be an imperfect draughtsman (and modern art critics and historians a l l seem to agree with this), he also f e l t that Delacroix' depth of imagination was so great that his merits far outweighed his defects. A rebel from the academic art of his day, Delacroix ignored the "classical" emphasis on line and a r t i f i c i a l modelling and simply exploded his pictures on to the canvas. He is considered to be the father of Romanticism in painting, and although James admits that he saw his subjects "in a ray of that light that never was on land and sea,"^ he i s delighted to find that "here is a man who not only sees, but reflects as well as sees."-'-  0  James also sees that Delacroix has grasped the principle of form, that he "saw his subject as a whole, not as the portrait of a group of selected and isolated o b j e c t s . . . . H e  appeals not to the  66 fancy but to the imagination and the "burden of his message to i t is al\rays grave."  12  And to the hypothetical c r i t i c who might suggest  that art should carry no message, certainly not a grave one, James suggests that i f Delacroix is being unfaithful to his duty as a painter, "the raison d'etre of these gentry being, constructively, the beautifying of existence, the conservation of enjoyment," he cannot 13  help but point out that not only is there "plenty of beauty" in him, but he likes him in part for this very quality which others might see as a f a u l t — h i s psychological insight, his sense of the  complexity  and mystery of a l l human existence, his "moral tone." ^  Gerome paints  1  the surface of things, Delacroix the substance, and James, as a consequence, finds the Romantic more real than the Realist. Perfect craftsmanship is not enough, for James i s in the Palace of Art, not the laboratory. •Delacroix also discovered the law of complementary colours (James constantly refers to the magnificence of his colouring), and this discovery, along with the invention of the camera and the new interest in the science of optics, paved the way and had a profound influence on the third group of nineteenth century French rebels, the Impressionists. And here we are brought up short. At last we have caught the old master with his aesthetic shirt-tails showing. He did not like the Impressionists?—how terribly bourgeois,  how  typically Victorian. Now we have discovered his Achilles heel and we take great pleasure in the fact that he did not have a consciousness capable of the infinite expansion necessary in order to make the  67 imaginative leap from traditional to modern art. But yet he has been hailed as an Impressionist himself. What are we going to do about that? The question is an interesting one. In 1876 James viewed the second exhibition of the l i t t l e band of rebels who had been scornfully labelled by the Parisian c r i t i c Louis Leroy as "Impressionists," -' and his short but scathing review of the 1  work exhibited must form the basis for our discussion of his views. There are those, of course, who claim that James' Tribune letters were "made to order" and that they cannot be admitted as any concrete i n d i cation of his stand on Impressionism. However, to anyone who has read James' letter to Whitelaw Reid, the editor of the New York Tribune, i t is obvious that i t was the very fact that James could not make articles "to order" which caused his eventual rupture with the paper. Therefore, assuming that whatever else he may have been, he was always sincere when writing for publication, we must try to discover the meaning behind his attack, not that his was the f i r s t or the worst. E.H. Gorabrich quotes a "respected c r i t i c " who reported on the 1876 exhibition in these words: 'An exhibition has just been opened at Durand-Ruel which allegedly contains paintings....Five or six lunatics, among them a woman, have joined together and exhibited their works....These would-be artists c a l l themselves revolutionaries, "Impressionists." They take a piece of canvas, colour and brush, daub a few patches of colour on them at random, and sign the whole thing with their name. It is a delusion of the same kind as i f the i n mates of Bedlam picked up stones from the wayside and imagined they had found diamonds.'I? James comment that 1  68 The 'Impressionist' doctrines strike me as incompatible, in an artist's mind, with the existence of first-rate talent. To embrace them you must be provided with a plentiful absence of imagination. 18  seems rather mild compared to the above. But the general opinion of the two critics appears to be the same. Why did James react in this way? Was i t because he was so terribly reactionary and class-bound in his tastes? Was i t because his eye, albeit a "painter's eye," had been so firmly fixed in the traditional modes of seeing that i t could not accept or assimilate this new visual experience? Perhaps part of the answer lies in the section quoted above. James finds the Impressionist: doctrines i n compatible with art. Impressionism was a true child of nineteenth century France. It not only grew out of the increasing split between the academic, a r t i f i c i a l way of looking at nature, but also out of certain new discoveries in the f i e l d of optics, the science that deals with light and vision. Whether the Impressionists actually knew of the discoveries in the laboratory or whether they arrived at the same conclusions through independent experiment with colour is not important. The fact is that they prided themselves on their "scientific method" and demonstrated in their paintings that optical mixtures of colour were more intense than colour already mixed in the tube—that red and yellow placed side by side for example and "mixed" only by the eye would produce a more brilliant orange than any which could be produced by orange paint i t s e l f — a n d that white contains within i t s e l f  a l l t h e c o l o u r s o f t h e rainbow, d e m o n s t r a t i o n s w h i c h were c o r r o b o r a t e d by such men as C h e v r e u l and Rood. The I m p r e s s i o n i s t s a l s o wished t o be s c i e n t i f i c i n t h e i r a t t i t u d e as w e l l as t h e i r method, f o r t h e y f e l t t h a t i n o r d e r t o r e n d e r n a t u r e f a i t h f u l l y an a r t i s t must t r u s t o n l y h i s eyes, h i s v i s u a l e x p e r i e n c e , and must r e c o r d , as q u i c k l y and d i s p a s s i o n a t e l y as p o s s i b l e , e v e r y a c c i d e n t o f l i g h t o r shade. I n t h e o r y a t l e a s t t h e a r t i s t was n o t t o a r r a n g e o r s e l e c t , b u t o n l y t o r e c o r d e v e r y t h i n g which came w i t h i n h i s p a r t i c u l a r f i e l d o f v i s i o n . I n a c t u a l f a c t t h e b e s t o f t h e I m p r e s s i o n i s t s d i d n o t adhere t o t h i s p a r t o f t h e t h e o r y and went on s e l e c t i n g , a r r a n g i n g and composing j u s t as though t h e y were n o t eyes but i n t e l l e c t s as w e l l . T h i s i s what Cezanne meant when he s a i d t h a t "Monet i s o n l y an e y e — b u t what an eye!"  1 9  James appears  t o have h e a r d o f t h e i r aims b e f o r e he went t o t h e  e x h i b i t i o n , and h a v i n g g o t t h e c a r t b e f o r e t h e h o r s e , he confuses a i m w i t h r e s u l t and ends up i n t h e p a r a d o x i c a l p o s i t i o n o f s a y i n g t h e wrong t h i n g f o r t h e r i g h t r e a s o n s . Not o n l y do many modern c r i t i c s p r o c l a i m t h a t t h e I m p r e s s i o n i s t movement was s h o r t - l i v e d and m i s g u i d e d , t h e y a l s o s t r e s s a n o t h e r o f James' views i n w h i c h he says that A p a i n t i n g i s n o t an 'Impression' but an e x p r e s s i o n — j u s t as a poem o r a p i e c e o f music i s . 2 0 Gombrich, f o r example, s t r e s s e s t h e f a c t t h a t e x p r e s s i o n i s m i n v o l v e s s e l e c t i o n , and t h a t w i t h o u t s e l e c t i o n t h e r e i s no a r t . 2 1  And E r i c  Newton s t a t e s t h e same c r i t i c i s m i n a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t way when  70 he compares the Impressionists with the artists who came after Monet and Degas snatched at visual experience; Cezanne and Picasso construct and reconstruct on a basis of visual experience. In doing so they are far closer to the main tradition of art than their predecessors.22 This absence of selection, this cultivated, dispassionate objectivity where one "snatched at...experience" would be as distasteful to James as i t was to Cezanne who, while admiring the Impressionists' f a c i l i t y , could nevertheless feel that form, o r d e r and arrangement had to be brought back into art before modern art could make any permanent contribution to the world. But having partially exonerated James from the charge of conventionalism we must also point out that part of his judgement of this " l i t t l e group of Irreconcilables"  23 w a s  based on his nineteenth  century aesthetic education. He had been so long in the Louvre and the P i t t i Palace that his eyes had become too accustomed to the Old Masters' way of visualizing. He did not see that the Impressionist attempt to render Nature as she actually appeared was the aim of a l l the artists of the past. However, the artists of the past had injected their own world-view into their art, while a camera had no world-view because i t had no soul. Impressionism, ironically enough, for a l l i t s obsession with optics, was to turn out to be as much of a blind alley as the Pre-Raphaelite doctrine that sophisticated men of one age can participate in the Zeitgeist of another. It is interesting that John Rewald, champion of Impressionism, uses James' 1876 letter in his revised edition of The History of  71 Impressionism to typify the bourgeois attitude of the times. There are things about this letter which are "typical" such as his lumping together of the Impressionists as a type (and as Sweeney points out, for once James is guilty of not naming names in a c r i t i c a l review) and his use of the phrase "those good old rules." ^ 2  This is a pretty dan-  gerous way of expressing himself for a man who really did not believe in rules of art, who did not maintain, as P.G. Hamerton did, that "the learned application of art criticism was simply a series of tests." 5 2  Sweeney maintains that James modified his views on Impress-  ionism as the years went on, until in The American Scene he can speak quite highly of works by Manet, Degas, Monet and Whistler. We are i n clined to disagree and to feel that Mr. Sweeney is not quite at home among these particular "nightingales." James never modified his opinion of the Impressionist theory. What he did perceive was that in the best works of the Impressionist school, the theory was, to a great extent, disregarded. There i s , for example, the evidence of a conscious and very obvious selection in the works of Monet. In his essay on John Singer Sargent James makes his position quite clear. To render the impression of an object may be a veryf r u i t f u l effort, but i t is not necessarily soj that w i l l depend upon what...the impression may have been. ° 2  And what the impression may have been w i l l depend in turn on the man who receives and reproduces i t . If he does this mechanically, dispassionately, with no awareness of the depth and richness of l i f e , i f he makes of i t merely a technical problem, then his impression w i l l not be worthwhile. The head of a cabbage and the head of a child may  72 be of equal value for technical experiment, but to the man who i s at a l l interested in l i f e they can never be the same. That i s , of course, unless one should feel deeply, as the l i t t l e masters of Holland and Flanders did, about cabbages. One further point i s worth considering. In James concept of 1  creative activity the viewing consciousness stands behind a window; i t gets closest to nature by standing slightly apart from i t , by being, with the aid of the window or "the light of the mind," both within and without. To a man who believes this, the idea of taking art  out of the studio and into the open a i r must have seemed very odd  indeed. One must step back from experience, from l i f e , just as, ironi c a l l y enough, one must step back from an Impressionist painting, before one is able to see the parts in any relation to the whole. Therefore, although James as a small boy received his f i r s t real acquaintance with art in the Louvre, his criticism of the French art  of his time i s the least satisfactory part of his art criticism  as a whole. I have tried to indicate the reasons for this: his a t t i t ude towards French literature, his too-cursory glance at the paintings at Durand-Ruel s, his f a i r l y rigid belief that a l l French art 1  exhibited cynicism or a tendency towards cynicism. His criticism of French art i s important, however, because i t demonstrates that certain of his aesthetic c r i t e r i a — s t y l e and finish, for example—are defini t e l y accidental or secondary attributes of a work of art.  If i t seems  to James that sincerity is lacking, he may reject the painting out of hand.  73 FOOTNOTES 1  cf. "The Impressionists" (1876), IMS., p.115.  2  "A Continental State of Mind," The Aesthetic Adventure, pp.7-19.  "An English Critic of French Painting" (1868),-PjE., p.42. This is an unsigned review of P.G. Hamerton's Contemporary French Painters. 3  * "French Pictures in Boston" (1872), PJ5.,  p.47.  Ibid., p.4A. 6  Ibid., p.48.  7 Ibid.. p.47. 8  P.E..  "Pictures by William Morris Hunt, Gerome and Others" (1872), p.51.  Q  He continues: "...which i s simply the light of the mind." "French Pictures in Boston," J^E., p.47. 1 0  "The Letters of Delacroix" (1880), PjE., p.184.  1 1  Ibid.  1 2  Ibid.  1 3  Ibid.  1 4  Ibid.. p.185  15 At the f i r s t exhibition in 1874 Monet had shown his now famous 'Impression: Sunrise' from which Leroy coined the term Impressionistes. in his Le Charevari review. Reid had suggested that James' articles and reviews were "too good" for the Tribune, and were-more suitable for magazine than newspaper publication. James replies: "I am afraid I can't assent to your proposal that I should try and write otherwise." cf. The Selected Letters of Henry James, ed. Leon Edel (New York, I960), p.64. l o  1 7  The Storv of Art. 2nd ed. (London, 1950), p.392.  18 "The Impressionists," P.E.. p.115. 1 9  The Story of Art, p.405.  74 2 0  "The Grosvenor Gallery" (1878), PjE., p.165.  21 The Story of Art, p.380. He goes on to say that "where there is no choice, there is no expression." However, he points out that in certain stages in the history of art, the Egyptian or the Romanesque periods for example, the rules and conventions of art were so severe that what was produced cannot be called expressionistic' (in the sense in which James is using the term). 1  OO  European Painting and Sculpture (Middlesex, England, 1951),  p. 168. 2 3  2 A  "The Impressionists," P a E . , p. 114. Ibid.  25  Thoughts About Art, rev. ed. (Boston, 1882), p.270. 2 6  PaE., p.217.  CHAPTER IV JAMES IN THE BRAVE NEW WORLD This l i t t l e piggy vent to market, this l i t t l e piggy stayed home, this l i t t l e piggy had roast beef, this l i t t l e piggy had none. Tom Appleton said, sarcastically, that a l l good Americans go to Paris when they die. But Paris, being as she was the dynamic center of aesthetic movements i n the nineteenth century, attracted a good many Americans while they were s t i l l alive. Paris meant Europe, and Europe was the place where the newly-minted nation could buy up culture and transplant i t into a finer, more virgin s o i l . But i t was not only the rich Americans, like Christopher Newman and Adam Verver, who flocked to Europe in the secong half of the nineteenth century. There were also many well-to-do young would-be artists who hurried from the trains at the Gare St. Lazare convinced that in Paris they would acquire a "varnish" for their paintings which they could never find at home. There was the grand tour for artists as well as for men  who  owned mills back home in Massachusetts or Nebraska. One might go on to Rome or Florence or Baden-Baden, but Paris was the f i r s t watering place in their search for the cure to the lack of tradition and a certain creakiness in the aesthetic joints. One went to London to acquire manners (or clothes—which amounted to the same thing); one went to Paris to acquire technique. As James says in 1893?  When today we look f o r 'American a r t ' we f i n d i t mainly i n P a r i s . When we f i n d i t out of P a r i s , we a t l e a s t f i n d a great d e a l of Paris i n i t . l There was a "great d e a l of P a r i s " (as w e l l as Japan) i n W h i s t l e r , and there was more than a l i t t l e i n James' young f r i e n d John Singer Sargent, the American a r t i s t who was elected to the Royal Academy a t the age of twenty-four and became the most sought-after p o r t r a i t painter i n London i n the n i n e t i e s , and to whom C l i f t o n Fadiraan can only a f f o r d a p a r e n t h e t i c a l statement today. In f a c t Fadiman, as we have seen, uses James' apparent admiration of Sargent as "proof" that h i s aest h e t i c s e n s i b i l i t i e s were rather crude. "He l i k e d Sargent." But d i d he? I f we examine h i s comments on Sargent we f i n d that t h i s l i k i n g was a t most a q u a l i f i e d thing and that h i s f e a r of the traps i n t o which the young painter might f a l l "proves," i f anything, how perceptive James was on the subject of a r t . In 1893 James wrote a rather lengthy a r t i c l e on Sargent f o r Harper's Magazine (one of the few he wrote concerning a s i n g l e a r t i s t — t h e essay on Daumier i s another). I n t h i s essay he i n d i c a t e s that he l i k e s Sargent's work thus f a r but i s uneasy f o r h i s f u t u r e . Sargent "has...on the face of i t , t h i s great symptom of American o r i g i n , that i n the l i n e of h i s a r t he might e a s i l y be mistaken f o r a Frenchman."  2  Sargent has another more "admirable p e c u l i a r i t y , " i n  that "perception w i t h him i s already a kind of e x e c u t i o n . " His 3  perception, i n other words, seems to have become j u s t another technique, and a technique wich i s employed, rather than f e l t , by the a r t i s t . James goes i n t o the f a c t that Sargent had been "hailed as  77 a recruit of high value to the camp of the Impressionists," but he adds that "Mr. Sargent's impressions happen to be worthy of record."4He simplifies richly, and "with style." Today i t is generally agreed among critics and painters that the work of Sargent's early period is far superior to the work of his later years and that James' fear that he knows so much about the art of painting that he perhaps does not fear emergencies quite enough and that having knowledge to spare he may be tempted to play with i t and waste i t , * was confirmed by the superficial portraits of his "peak" period. It was quite natural that James, who f e l t that "there is no finer work of art than a fine portrait", x^ould be drawn to this talented young portrait painter from America. But even in his comments on Sargent's painting 'Mrs. Carl Meyer and her children' he sees already that Sargent is rendering "manners...aspects...types and textures."  0  Oliver Lyon descended from a portrait of Sir David Ashmore to a parody of the art of portraiture, 'The Liar,' and we have seen what James thought of him! Sargent is rendering types rather than individuals, and this i s , in the Jamesian aesthetic canon, a denial of the principles of portraiture. To those who have seen Sargent's work, and are s t i l l convinced of James' excess of praise for the painter, may  we  refer them to the novelist's "aside" on page 222 of The Painter's Eye. James is discussing the 'Daughters of Edward D. Boit,' a painting which is notable for i t s charm and grace and perfect understanding of "the happy play-world of a family of charming children."7  Yet,  78 in the midst of his praise occurs a rather ominous  parenthesis—"When  was the pinafore ever painted with such poetic power?" In the paintings of Sargent's "major phase" the modern observer feels that this tendency to render pinafores with poetic power became the last word in sloppy sentimentality, in giving the purchaser the kind of calendar art tjhich would please him and which would ensure his patronage. In this particular painting i t works; the "poetic power" extends to the portrait and the arrangement of the children themselves. In later paintings i t appears to stop at "pinafores." But there were also the painters who stayed at home, who for private or pecuniary reasons never crossed the wide moat separating the kingdom of the counting house from the (to the majority of Americans, at least) Palace of Art. One of these, a now forgotten painter named Moran, comes in for his share of Jamesian wit in a review of the Academy exhibition in 1875. Moran had painted a picture of "certain geological eccentricities in Utah," and James exhibits his usual wit in his remarks on the dubious merits of the work. The c l i f f s there [~±n Utah], i t appears, are orange and pink, emerald green and cerulean blue; they look at a distance as i f , in emulation of the vulgar liberties taken with the exposed strata, in the suburbs of New York, they had been densely covered with bill-posters of every colour of the rainbow. Mr. Moran's picture i s , in the l i t e r a l sense of the word, a brilliant production. We confess i t gives a rather uncomfortable wrench to our prosy pre-conceptions of the conduct and complexion of rocks, even in their more fantastic moods; but we remember that a l l this i s in Utah, and that Utah i s terribly far away. 8  Yet to imply that James did not think American scenery was pictorial  79 would be unfair. He most certainly thought i t was rather stark and naked, but he loved, for instance, the beauty of New England in a l l her moods, and he even goes so far, in Roderick Hudson, to paint a "view" of an actual town, Northampton, Massachusetts, which is rather lovely. It is the inhabitants who are treated ironically, not the landscape. And this is equally true of his remarks on Moran's painting. James suspects the artist who created the picture had l i t t l e knowledge of landscape and hoy to paint i t . He is really quarrelling \-dth the execution, not, in spite of the witty manner in which the comments are phrased, the choice of locale. His remarks on Winslow Homer, for example, show that he can appreciate, albeit grudgingly, the potentiality in the f i e l d of native landscape and genre. And we must also mention here that i t is chiefly Homer's rendering of people which James finds objectionable to say the least. He admits that he "frankly detests his subjects...his dull pictorial vision...his perfect realism...barbaric simplicity...pie-nurtured maidens...calico  sunbonnets...want of grace  ...lack of intellectual detail...and absence of reflected l i g h t . "  9  Yet James is forced to admit that he likes Homer, and the reasons that he gives are extremely interesting. He has chosen the least pictorial features of the least pictorial range of scenery and civilization; he has resolutely treated them as i f they were pictorial...and, to reward his audacity, he has incontestably-succeeded. ...If his masses were only sometimes a t r i f l e more broken, and his brush a good deal richer...he would be, with his vigorous way of looking and seeing, even i f fancy in the matter were the same dead blank, an almost distinguished painter.1° To James, Homer's main defect was -that his painting;;was so "damnably  80 ugly." And what James means when he says that Homer's painting i s "ugly," when he ridicules the "flat-breasted maidens" and the "straight-haired Yankee urchins," i s that a l l this i s too naturalist i c , too purely physical, too "doggedly l i t e r a l .  1 , 1 1  It lacks imag-  ination, the fusion of intellect and sense, shadow and substance. It reflects the viewing consciousness of an honest, but limited, man. This concept of the beautiful i s a point to which I shall return i n my conclusion. But James was interested not only i n American painters. He was amused and distressed by the attitudes of the picture-loving, picturebuying American public. Pictures which were "made i n Europe," be they the work of old or new masters, brought a high price in the aesthetic market-places of America. Just as the American showed a s t i l l - p r e v a l ent tendency to regard what i s "the latest thing" and what i s the most expensive thing, as "the best thing," so he, paradoxically enough, was an ardent admirer of what was old, particularly i f i t came from that cultural warehouse (where else could i t come from?) of European art. When a collection of the Duke of Montpensier's pictures was placed on view in the Boston Athanaeum i n 1874, the sight of the hushed, reverent attitude of the spectators f i l l e d James with ironic amusement and not a l i t t l e distress. After an appreciative analysis of the merits and defects of the pictures exhibited, he feels a certain necessity to point out to America that there are things made i n Europe and there are things made i n Europe, and that they had been somewhat too reverent i n their attitude towards this particular collection. / r""'  '.. ,,j  81 Applauding the significance of the fact that a European collection has been exhibited in America and that there i s now "no reason in the essence of things why a roomfull of old masters should not be walked into from an American street,"-'- he nevertheless advises the "walkers2  in" that while i t may not be socially correct to look a gift horse in the mouth, i t i s aesthetically necessary i f one i s to learn to discriminate between the f i r s t - and second-rate. We are the Duke of Montpensierls debtors, and we cordially acknowledge i t . This obligation i s weighty, but i t i s of s t i l l more importance that people in general in this part of the world should not form an untruthful estimate of the works now at the Athenaeum. Immaturity and provincialism are incontestable facts, but people should never freely assent to being treated as children and provincials. 13 That such a warning was necessary i s evident by the unfortunate experience of Christopher Newman in the Louvre. James would never deny either the power or the potential of the rich financial resources of America. But the use to which such resources were put, particularly when i t came to the question of picture buying, was often questionable. When, i n 1876, Mr. A.T. Stewart of New York paid 176,000 for a representation of 'Friedland' by Meissonier, a painter whom James admired for his s k i l l but criticized for his lack of depth, James again feels called upon to say a few words about the American aesthetic scene. In a most ironic metaphor he states that the purchase gave him "an acute satisfaction in seeing America stretch out her long arm and rake in, across the green cloth of the wide Atlantic, the highest prizes of the game of c i v i l i z a t i o n . " - ^  Neverthe-  less he wonders i f the prize was really worth the expenditure of a l l  82  that vast amount of money. He reflects that in spite of a l l the science and s k i l l that went into i t , the picture seems "dear" at #76,000. Yet he recognizes the viewers' aesthetic susceptibility to the knowledge that the price was so high. If a certain number of persons have been found to agree that such and such an enormous sum i s a proper valuation of a picture, a book, or a song at a concert, i t is very hard not to be rather touched v/ith awe and to see a certain golden reflet in the performance. Indeed, i f you do not see i t , the oibject in question becomes perhaps s t i l l more impressive—a something too elevated and exquisite for your dull comprehension. ^ 1  The last sentence has, in retrospect, an almost prophetic ring when one considers the attitude of many twentieth century critics and viex^ers to so-called Modern Art. Thus James found much food for thought in his wanderings through the American art world of the late nineteenth century. What he discovered most of a l l was the basic insecurity of both artists and public in matters concerning art. They, like the English merchant-princes, desperately wanted culture, and because of this insecurity they tended to reject their native land and search for works of art which they knew were "the real thing" because they were European and because i t was in Europe that one found "the real thing." Even the majority of American painters sought "real" inspiration in Paris rather than Mew York. Was there a possibility of uniting brave new world with old? This was a problem which obsessed him as the years went on, and in the triumphant reconciliation of Maggie Vervsr, daughter of an American Adam, with Prince Amerigo, latest in a line which stretched back into the dim and occasionally spotted pages of European history, we  83 see his f i n a l answer to this question. But few critics have seen i t worthwhile to note that the synthesis which they achieve is a synthesis built on a Maggie's new awareness of the underlying principle of art—and that i s , of course, Form.  84 FOOTNOTES 1  "John S. Sargent," PJE,, p.216.  o  Ibid. Keeping in mind our examination of the previous chapter, we can recognize that this remark is anything but complimentary. 3  Ibid., p.217.  A  Ibid.  5 Ibid., pp.223-24. 6  7  "The Guildhall and the Royal Academy" (1897), £aE., p.257. "John S. Sargent," P. E., p.ii8.'  8  "On Some Pictures Lately Exhibited" (1875),  p.100.  9  Ibid., p.96.  1 0  Ibid., p.97.  U  Ibid.  1 2  "The Duke of Montpensier's Pictures in Boston," PjE., p.87.  1 3  Ibid., p.86.  ^ "The American Purchase of Meissonier's 'Friedland'" P.E.. p.109. 1  5  IbM.  (1876),  CHAPTER V A SMALL VOICE AND OTHERS If one examines James' art criticism in isolation, without specific reference to other nineteenth century art c r i t i c s , i t may seem to assume an a i r of importance which i t certainly did not have at the time. James' voice was merely a "small voice" when compared to that of Ruskin or Pater, or even to the voice of Charles Baudelaire, whose reviews of the French Salons now read, for one c r i t i c at least, "like notes for the new chapter of modern a r t , " and which 1  hardly went unnoticed even i f the notice was uncomplimentary. Today Pater, Ruskin and Baudelaire are recognized as major figures in the history of art criticism, while James' essays and reviews are rarely, i f ever, noticed by anyone who i s not a student of James. If he is mentioned by art critics or art historians, he i s mentioned only to illustrate how even such a perceptive man as Henry James misinterpreted and misunderstood the art of his own time. E.P. Richardson, in his history of painting i n America, does go so far as to say that James was a "perceptive c r i t i c of painting,"  but then uses James' re-  marks on Winslow Homer to emphasize that even perceptive people failed to understand what Homer was trying to do. Rewald, in his history of Impressionism, uses James' essay as one example of the total lack of sympathy of the critics of the times.  3  Yet few art historians bother  86 to point out that Pater did not even attempt to understand contemporary visual art and that Ruskin limited himself, with the exception of his defence of Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites,  to destructive  criticism of the art of his contemporaries. James, at least, did try to understand and interpret the art of his own century, and this i n i t s e l f is to his credit. In The Tenth Muse Herbert Read divides art criticism into four categories: professional, historical, aesthetical ("or philosophical") and "that which might be called simply art criticism."4 Professional criticism should be used by the teachers and "with i t s technicalities and jargon i t should be confined to i t s proper sphere, the studio or the school of art."5  By historical criticism Read says that he means  "the delineation of movements and groups, the description of styles, the analysis of techniques and materials—in general, the post-mortem attitude to art."°  On the question of "aesthetical" art criticism  Mr. Read is not as clear as one might wish him to be. But he appears to view aesthetics as a philosophical discipline and, as such, this type of criticism is highly specialized and is really a philosophical activity. But i t is with the fourth category, art criticism per se. that he and we are most concerned. While setting forth his views on this kind of criticism and i t s function, Read explains his conception of the "ideal" art c r i t i c . Stating that this type of criticism should be "actively addressed, not to a professional minority of any kind, but to the general  87 body of educated opinion," he goes on to say that Such a criticism w i l l be either informative or interpretive. It w i l l not assume that everyone has seen the work of art the c r i t i c is talking about. On the contrary, i t w i l l try to give everyone a vivid image of the object in question. Having done this, the c r i t i c w i l l proceed to interpret the artist's intention, and in the end he may express his own view of the artist's achievement, and this view need not necessarily be favourable.' Chastizing the modern a r t c r i t i c f o r his f a i l u r e t o p r a c t i c e this form of art criticism, and believing strongly that "the c r i t i c ought to be capable of giving an exact verbal description of the object x-fhich has caused him pleasure or displeasure," he cites Pater, Baude8  laire and Ruskin as examples of consummate masters of the art of art criticism. He might have included Henry James as well. For i t is a curious fact that James, although never seriously considered as an art c r i t i c , either before or since his death, deserves to go down in art history as one of the most perceptive art critics of the nineteenth century. This does not mean to imply that a l l of his judgements have stood the test of time or that he had an intuitive knowledge of what would be classified as great art in the years to come. One cannot retrospectively keep score on a c r i t i c who is observing and analysing the art of his contemporaries. Perhaps the reason for his perceptive appreciation of painting lies in the fact that he was able to achieve more objectivity when examining works in a genre which was not technically speaking his own. Perhaps i t lies in the fact that he was alleys, in part, a frustrated painter himself.  9  Whatever the cause,  he failed to f a l l into many of the traps which engulfed the profession-  88 al nineteenth century art c r i t i c s , and his major articles and essays f u l f i l l a l l the qualifications of Read's 'ideal' art criticism. Thus, before we come to any conclusion about the relationship between James' aesthetic theory and his novels themselves i t might be well to come to certain conclusions about the correspondences  and differences between  his art criticism and that of the three critics who are more widely known for their views on art—John Ruskin, Walter Pater and Charles Baudelaire. Walter Pater In his preface to The Renaissance  (1873) Pater stated that  "Beauty, like a l l other qualities presented to human experience, i s relative..." To define beauty, not in the most abstract but in the most concrete terms possible, to find not i t s universal formula, but the formula which expresses most adequately this or that special manifestation of i t , is the aim of the true student of Aesthetics.1° With the f i r s t part of this statement James would have no quarrel, for in both his works and his criticism we find him always stressing the importance of the particular rather than the universal, the type. And throughout The Painter's Eye we hear him repeating again and again the phrase "In the Palace of Art there are many mansions." James shrank from any rigid code of aesthetics just as he shrank from any codification of moral values. Thus he i s able to find beauty in the "humble masterpieces" of Holland and Flanders as well as in the highly imaginative and exciting canvases of Gericault and Delacroix. Both contain for James a particular and special manifestation of beauty. But the  89 last part of the quotation deserves some attention, for one doubts very much i f James \*ould have agreed to being called "a true student of Aesthetics." It was this sort of language which was to cause Pater (and Pater's ghost) so much trouble, and to lead to Pater's being declared the English father of l'art pour l'art. Aesthetics is a dangerous word, and the misinterpretation of this word led, in the end, to a situation where Oscar Wilde did more damage to the role of the artist than the industrial revolution and the whole of the middle class put together. As we have seen, Pater's concept of l i f e as art—the aesthete burning always with "a hard, gemlike flame," is very close to James' concept of the expanding consciousness and Strether's cry "Live, live a l l you can."  11  The d i f f e r -  ence is merely linguistic, but the words chosen indicate a basic d i f ference between James' and Pater's points of view. To the middle class, aesthetics i s a dirty word—it smacks of young men in ivory towers burning incense to false gods—it smacks, even, of perversion. And certainly i t seemed to oppose a different and sinister set of criteria to those of the accepted moral code. Yet whatever their differences, both Pater and James f e l t that in the totally integrated society, just as in the totally integrated individual, there can be no confusion of aesthetic and moral criteria, for the two are one and the same. But Pater had a limitation which James did not have—he lacked a tragic vision of l i f e . James knew that the inevitable result of this flamelike dedication to the beautiful could result only in disaster, selfdestruction, or death, either one's own or someone else's. Pater never  90 followed h i s d o c t r i n e through to i t s l o g i c a l conclusion, but James was aware that the expanding consciousness, I c a r u s - l i k e , must i n e v i t a b l y f a l l i n t o the sea. In 1894- James makes an I n t e r e s t i n g comment i n a l e t t e r to Edmund Gosse, who had sent James h i s essay on Pater, now included i n Critical Kit-kats: F a i n t , p a l e , embarrassed, e x q u i s i t e P a t e r l He reminds me, i n the disturbed midnight of our a c t u a l l i t e r a t u r e , of one of those lucent match-boxes which you p l a c e , on going to bed, near the candle, to"show you i n the darkness where you can s t r i k e a l i g h t ; he shines i n the uneasy gloom—vaguely, and has a phosphorescence, not a flame. But I quite agree with you that he i s not of the l i t t l e day—but of the longer t i m e . I 2  Thus, unconscious d i s c i p l e though he may have been, James c e r t a i n l y d i d not f e e l himself a k i n , except i n sympathy, to the " e x q u i s i t e P a t e r . " The t r u t h i s that i t was p r e c i s e l y because h i s Conclusion to The Renaissance was clothed i n the vagueness of an ambiguous metaphor, an ambiguity of which he was only too aware xifhen he suppressed the Conclusion from the second e d i t i o n of the book, that the decadents gobbled him up, misinterpreted him, and made i t possible f o r someone l i k e Wilde to i n s i s t that The Renaissance was "the very flower of decadence; the l a s t trumpet should have sounded when i t was w r i t t e n . "  1 3  Yet Pater was no more an amoral hedonist than James was a prude. To both of these men the expanding consciousness was everything, the u l t i mate aim of such expansion to be the same as that of the a r t i s t — b u t to James the aim involved an e t h i c a l r e s u l t , and eventually the consciousness would have to place i t s e l f i n r e l a t i o n s h i p with the r e s t  91 of the world. Herbert Read suggests that interpretive art criticism (by which I take him to mean subjective, impressionistic art criticism) began with Pater and his "prose poems. "-^ Pater gives us not only a perfectly conveyed description of the painting, so that we can visualize i t although we may never have seen the original...but at the same time an interpretation of i t s meaning or significance; and a l l done without any of the machinery of analysis. And i t is beautiful to read and to listen to; i t i s criticism raised in i t s e l f to an art, the art of prose, the least appreciated but most essential of a l l human arts, for i t is the daily bread of communication.15 "And a l l done without the machinery of analysis," or, as James calls i t , "the language of the studios." The essays in The Painter's Eye resemble, s t y l i s t i c a l l y , Pater's essays in The Renaissance. Here we find no technical jargon, unless used ironically, and here too we find beautiful prose and striking metaphor. Compare a portion of Pater's description of one of Leonardo's sketches with a comment by James on Murillo: i ) Note...the curves on the head of the child, following within thin and fine as some seathe l i t t l e skull within, shell worn by the wind..16 i i ) Murillo believes as women do, with never a dream of doubt; and the fact that his Virgins are hard-handed peasant women makes his inspiration seem more sacred, rather than less so....The baby's head, with i t s big, blue eyes and i t s l i t t l e helpless backward f a l l , i s delightfully painted; there are few divine infants in the range of sacred art on whom divinity sits so easily.17 Both James and Pater here manage to capture virtue (Pater's term for "personality," or the unique quality of a given work of art or a given  92 a r t i s t ) , the one, of the work of art i t s e l f , the other, of the artist. One was published i n 1873? the other i n 1874. One was part of a work which was to achieve world-wide notoriety, the other, a remark made i n an unsigned, virtually unnoticed review. Ruskin Although Herbert Read mentions Pater as the father of descriptive and interpretive art criticism, he also cites Ruskin and Baudelaire as masters of "the literature of art." With Read's opinion of Ruskin, however, James disagrees. He seems to have had from the beginning an almost instinctual dislike of the man himself, writing to his mother i n 1869, Ruskin himself i s a very simple matter. In face, in manner, in talk, in mind, he i s weakness pure and simple. I use the word not invidiously but scientifically. He has the beauties of his defects but to see him only confirms the impression given by his writing, that he has been scared back by the grim face of reality into the world of unreason and illusion, and that he wanders there without a compass and a guide — o r any light except the f i t f u l flashes of his beautiful Granted that this was written by a young man of twenty-six, giddy from the experience of meeting the great and near-great of London society for the f i r s t time; yet James never changed his opinion of Ruskin in spite of the fact that Ruskin's prose charmed him, or that many of the great critic's opinions agreed with his own. Therefore i t might be well to examine certain of Ruskin's comments i n order to see why James f e l t that the work as well as the man exhibited signs of "weakness pure and simple."  93 In Modern Painters (1843) Raskin states that the qualities necessary to great art are the same as those necessary to a great man: moral awareness, love of beauty, grasp of truth and great imagination. In "The Art of Fiction" James would say that "no great art can proceed from a superficial mind," and this corresponds to Raskin's position in Modern Painters. (After i860, however, Ruskin appears to have set himself lip as sole judge of who possessed and who did not possess the necessary qualities, and his views became increasingly narrow and arbitrary, a kind of c r i t i c a l atrophy which did not hit James until he was a relatively old man.)  In the same section of  Modem Painters (III, part IV), Ruskin warns the c r i t i c against rigid classification of works of art: For i t w i l l have been observed that the various qualities which form greatness are partly inconsistent with each other...and partly independent of each other; and the fact i s , that artists differ not more by mere capacity, each possessing in very different proportions the several attributes of greatness; so that classed by one kind of merit, as, for instance, purity of expression, Angelico w i l l stand highest. Glassed by another, love of beauty, Leonardo w i l l stand highest; and so on; hence arise continual disputes and misunderstandings among those who think that high art must always be one and the same, and that great artists ought to unite a l l great attributes in equal degree.^9 James certainly shares this view, and we see i t in operation, for example, in his comments on Ingres and Rubens: James feels that Ingres is the embodiment of the classical "idea" which "will never become extinct, in as much as men of the classical temperament w i l l constantly arise to keep i t a l i v e , "  2 0  and yet he recognizes the limitations  of this "refined but shallow" genius.  He looked at natural objects in a partial, incomplete manner. He recognized i n Nature only one class of objects worthy of study—the naked human figure: and i n art only one method of reproduction—drawing. ^ 2  In his f i e l d then—the drawing of the naked human figure—Ingres may be classified as a great master. But by other standards, and against painters who recognized the existence of other fields, he cannot compete. In the case of Rubens, James f e l t that he was essentially a "coarse" painter, but in this category he reigned "with magnificent supremacy."  22  Yet Ruskin did not really practice what he preached.  To him there was but one God—J.M.W. Turner—and Ruskin was his prophet—at least insofar as nineteenth century art was concerned. He admired the Pre-Raphaelites—yes; but his championship of them (not i n his letters to the Times but i n his 1851 essay, "Pre-Raphaelitism"), was really, as Robert L. Peters points out, "more an explanation of his beloved Turner  than  a defense of the painters." 3 Modern 2  Painters was written around Turner, and to the end of his days Ruskin believed that Turner was the only real light on the darkling a r t i s t i c plain. 4- A l l other painters were "immoral" because they did not f o l 2  low the precepts of Turner and of Ruskin. Yet i n spite of his didacticism, his almost fanatical obsession with the moral function of art, which was somehow separate from the aesthetic value of art, Ruskin made many perceptive comments about art in general. And finding no stability around him, he found his stabili t y , as the young James suggests i n his letter, i n a retreat from  95 reality. Ruskin's comments on modern landscape help to clarify this point. We find that whereas a l l the pleasure of the medieval was in stability, definiteness. and luminousness. we are expected to rejoice in darkness, and triumph i n mutability; to lay the foundations of happiness in things that momentarily change or fade; and to expect the utmost satisfaction and instruction from what i t i s impossible to arrest, and d i f f i c u l t to comprehend.25 Ruskin's attitude here is definitely Pre-Raphaelite—he wants to go back to the closed world of the Middle Ages and reject the consequences of living in an infinite universe. He i s refusing to expand his consciousness because he does not wish to pay the price involved in such expansion. Terribly aware of the physical ugliness and moral chaos of his own century, his only solution i s to replace the bougeois Goddessof-Getting-On with a gothic s a i n t — s t a t i c , stable, and reassuring. He cannot accept the here and now, he can only criticize i t . In fact, although one hesitates to quarrel with the opinion of so eminent a c r i t i c as Read, his inclusion of Ruskin in an article devoted to the establishment of certain basic principles of good art criticism i s questionable. For although Modern Painters contains much that i s admirable, i t also exhibits signs of the impassioned fanaticism which was to make the later volumes, as well as his writings on social and ethical problems, so one-sidedly didactic. Yet his isolated comments are excellent, for example: i ) The demand for perfection is always a misunderstanding of the ends of a r t . 2 7  i i ) Demand no refinement of execution where there i s no thought, for that is slave's work, unredeemed.28  96 i i i ) In politics, religion is now a name; in art, a hypocrisy, or affectation.29 But too often we find him sacrificing common sense for rather obscure metaphysical notions, and the painter's eye for the prophet's tongue. As a social c r i t i c Ruskin has had great and lasting influence; as a writer of beautiful, albeit often purple prose, he was virtually unequalled; as an art historian he was excellent, but as a sympathetic c r i t i c of nineteenth century art he was a fish out of water. One vrould like to imagine the young James resolving, as he begins his art c r i t i c ism, not to commit the errors of the staid Professor, and to approach the art of his century with a somewhat more philosophic eye. In 1378, when James reviewed Ruskin's collection of draftings by Turner, the famous c r i t i c was dangerously i l l . At the end of the article James mentions the fact that the crisis of his illness had passed, and adds: There are few persons who w i l l not be interested in hearing of the recovery of a writer whose eccentricities of judgement have been numerous, but for whom, at least, i t can be claimed that he is the author of some of the most splendid pages in our language, and that he has spent his l i f e , his large capacity for emotion, and his fortune in a passionate—a too passionate—endeavour to avert, in many different lines, what he believed to be the wrong and to establish his rigid conception of the right.30 James knew, and Pater knew as well, that there could be no "rigid conceptions" in l i f e , any more than there could be rigid conceptions in art.  97 Baudelaire If James' aesthetic had a great deal in common with that of Pater, and l i t t l e in common with that of Ruskin, i t also had certain curious affinities with another nineteenth century art critic—Charles Baudelaire. It i s only within the last ten years that Baudelaire's comments on art have been available i n English, and this may account for  the fact that no one appears to have noticed the remarkable corre-  spondence between the Frenchman's attitude towards nineteenth  century  art and that of Henry James. In his review of the Salon of 18A6 Baudelaire says: I sincerely believe that the best criticism is that which is both amusing and poetic: not a cold mathematical c r i t i cism which, on the pretext of explaining everything, has neither love nor hate, and voluntarily strips i t s e l f of every shred of temperament. But, seeing that a fine picture is nature reflected by the artist, the criticism which I approve w i l l be that picture reflected by an i n telligent and sensitive mind. Thus the best account of a picture may be a sonnet or an elegy. 31 And he adds that the broadest point of view which the c r i t i c can have w i l l be "an orderly individualism—that i s , to require of the artist the quality of naivete" and the sincere expression of his temperament, aided by every means which his technique provides.  1,32  We have seen  demonstrated in the preceding chapters the fact that James, too, believed that criticism could be, and should be, "amusing and poetic," and written from the broadest possible point of view. To James, Art is really but a point of view and genius a way of looking at things.23 But the point of view, whether of artist or c r i t i c , iraust be, at a l l times, c r i t i c a l .  98 But not only do James and Baudelaire fundamentally agree on the nature of art criticism, their tastes in art•were almost identical. Compare Baudelaire's comment on Decamps with that of James: Baudelaire (I84.6) He was too much concerned with the material execution of objects; his houses were made of true plaster and true wood, his walls were made of true lime-mortar; and in front of these masterpieces, the heart was often saddened by a painful idea of the time and trouble which had been devoted to their making. How much finer they would have been i f executed less artfully!34 James (1872) A more subtle piece of painting we have seldom beheld C'The Centurion ' J — a work in which s k i l l and science and experience offer a more effective substitute for that quality which is so strongly embodied in that least clever, the small Delacroix which hangs near i t . In refinement of taste, in delicacy of invention, in nice calculation of effect, i t is incomparably fine...but i t lacks the frank good faith of the best masters.35 It is interesting to note that Baudelaire, in his review, also compares Decamps unfavourably with Delacroix, a painter to whom we shall return below. Disliking the realism practiced by such painters as Decamps, they also agreed on the difference between a work of art that i s complete and a work that is merely finished. Baudelaire held that In general, what is complete is not finished. and that a thing that is highly finished need not be complete at a l l . . . . A work of genius (or i f you prefer, a work of the soul), in which every element is well seen, well observed, well understood and well imagined, w i l l always be very well executed when i t is sufficiently so.3° Thus he disliked the highly finished pictures of such artists as Meissonier and GerSme, which were incomplete because they lacked what  99 B a u d e l a i r e c a l l e d n a i v e t e and James c a l l e d "moral s p o n t a n e i t y . " To B a u d e l a i r e , Gerome was " t h e f i r s t o f t h e p o i n t u s . " who p a i n t e d  flat  marionettes  without  and " c o l d l y warmed up h i s s u b j e c t s "  3 7  — a craftsman  a s o u l , and M e i s s o n i e r ivas "a F l e m i n g , minus t h e f a n t a s y , t h e charm, the c o l o u r , t h e n a i v e t e — a n d  t h e pipe!"38  To James, b o t h M e i s s o n i e r and Gerome were " h e a r t l e s s , " and a l though t h e y b o t h p a i n t e d " w i t h i n c o m p a r a b l e p r e c i s i o n and s k i l l , " 3 9 Gerome, l i k e M e i s s o n i e r , " p a i n t s a t b e s t a s o r t o f e l a b o r a t e i t y . "40  James sums up t h e d i f f e r e n c e between these Wo  p a i n t e r s and D e l a c r o i x o r M i l l e t  highly finished  by s u g g e s t i n g t h a t " i t i s a d i f f e r e n c e  l i k e t h e d i f f e r e n c e t o t h e eye between p l a t e g l a s s and g u s h i n g The " p i c t u r e s q u e n e s s "  immobil-  water."41  o f a l i m i t e d p a i n t e r l i k e Decamps was b e t t e r than  the s t e r i l e p e r f e c t i o n o f these two puppeteers.  And b o t h  Baudelaire  and James used D e l a c r o i x as a supreme example o f t h e a r t i s t who managed t o a c h i e v e a s y n t h e s i s between t e c h n i q u e and n a i v e t e o r m o r a l spontaneity.  F o l l o w i n g on f r o m t h i s , B a u d e l a i r e i n h i s e s s a y "On the I d e a l and t h e Model," makes some comments w h i c h might e q u a l l y have been made by J a m e s — o r by P a t e r . H i s c o n t e n t i o n t h a t a p o r t r a i t i s "a model c o m p l i c a t e d by t h e a r t i s t " 4 2 i s analogous t o t h e theme o f "The R e a l T h i n g " and t o P a t e r ' s c o n c e p t i o n o f t h e " p e r s o n a l i t y " o f a g r e a t work o f a r t . B a u d e l a i r e , l i k e P a t e r and James, h o l d s t h a t " t h e a b s o l u t e i d e a l i s a p i e c e o f nonsense."43  What makes a g r e a t a r t i s t i s h i s  awareness o f t h e i d e a l , but i t i s h i s own i d e a l and no one e l s e ' s .  100 This is what James means when he says that Delacroix "had, with the highest degree of spontaneity, the ideal,"44- and what Delacroix himself meant when he said that what is worse than being without the ideal, "is to have that second-hand ideal which...people go to school to acquire, and which would make us hate our very models."^  It was,  of course, a belief in another kind of ideal, the absolute ideal, which led to the blank canvas of poor M. Theobold (and, one feels, to the paradoxical and didactic art criticism of Ruskin). Another correspondence between James and Baudelaire lies in their recognition of the importance of colour. Throughout The Mirror of Art and The Painter's Eye we find Baudelaire and James searching alx^ys for a great colourist and always, i t should be added, returning to Delacroix as the supreme example of such an artist, who not only coloured, but coloured imaginatively. Baudelaire in "The Salon of I84.6," referring to Delacroix, remarks that for colourists, who seek to imitate the eternal throbbings of nature, lines are never anything but the i n timate fusion of two colours, as in the rainbow. James stands in awe before Delacroix' "extraordinary harmony of colour,"^ and cites him as "a singularly powerful and various colourist."^  8  Conversely, as noted before, a portrait by Nicholas Maas  "has a poverty and impurity of colouring which almost denotes moral turpitude in the painter."49  /  It would be interesting to speculate on James' and Baudelaire's obsession with colour. It played a major part in the imaginative xrorks of both men and may simply be an example of the painter's eye at work.  101 How much did the fact that they were litterateurs, whose job was, at i t s most l i t e r a l , the placing of certain black marks on a white ground, have to do with this obsession? It took a Rimbaud to imagine vowels as being within themselves pigmented. Colour seems to have had a moral quality for James and Baudelaire, and i t would take a great deal of "keen analysis" to understand why Baudelaire says in 1859 that "It i s Imagination that f i r s t taught men the moral meaning of colour..."-*  0  It i s easy to see that, to these men, an indifferent  colourist was a man with limited imagination, but this i s , one feels, only part of the answer. To sum up the curious a f f i n i t y between James and Baudelaire and to show how i t was evident, not only in their reactions to speci f i c painters, but in their general conception of art, i t might be well to examine a statement made by Baudelaire i n his essay on "The Governance of the Imagination:" It is clear that the vast family of a r t i s t s — t h a t i s to say, of men who have devoted themselves to a r t i s t i c expression—can be divided into two quite distinct camps. There are those who c a l l themselves "realists" — a word with a double meaning, whose sense has not been properly defined, and so in order the better to characterize their error, I propose to c a l l them "positivists;" and they say, "I want to represent things as they are, or rather as they would be, supposing that I did not exist." In other words, the universe without man. The others however—the "imaginatives"—say, "I want to illumine things with my mind, and to project their reflection on other minds."51 Baudelaire mentions, as well, a third class of painters, a "very boring class" i n which he includes "the false amateurs of the antique, the false amateurs of s t y l e — i n short, a l l those men who by their  102 impotence have elevated the 'poncif' to the honours of the grand style."''  2  In the preceding pages we have seen that James, like Bau-  delaire, comes down heavily on the side of the "imaginatives" and relegates the "positivists" and the "false amateurs of style" to a decidedly inferior place. The "exquisite" Pater, the "too passionate" Ruskin, and the Satanic Baudelaire: a stranger triumvirate cannot be imagined. Yet a l l three were writers of impassioned prose which concerned i t s e l f with the Palace of Art, and we can find certain resemblances to a l l three in James' criticism of art. Like Pater, James believed strongly in the here and now, which he knew, as Pater knew, was "the essence of classical f e e l i n g . ^ n  Like Ruskin, he believed in craftsmanship and  simplicity, whether applied to poetry or painting. Like Baudelaire, he had no time for the kind of "realism" which he observed in so many of the novels and canvases of the nineteenth century. Nor did he believe in "a universe without man."  And like a l l three, he expressed  his concept—one can hardly call i t a doctrine—of art in some of the most highly imaginative literature on art which has ever been written. He was more receptive to new movements in art than Clifton Padiraan or even John L. Sweeney have supposed—his understanding of both the strengths and weaknesses of the Pre-Raphaelites is just one example of his sympathetic approach to a school with which he could not fundamentally agree. And yet, above a l l , what he creates in his scattered comments on nineteenth century art is a social history of the paradoxical age in which he lived. He was as aware as Ruskin that a nation's  103 art reflects the Z e i t g e i s t of the nation and so, in his reviews and essays, one can see the whole panorama of the previous century spread out before one's eyes. The bustle of the London Season, the sentiment a l i t y of Victorian aesthetics, the technically b r i l l i a n t but essentia l l y shallow realism of the French, the strange, awkward, groping, but nevertheless sincere desire of the nineteenth century Americans who wished to purchase culture from a world which they had rejected, and a l l nations, a l l artists, looking for some escape from the break-up of the old, safe, secure ways of looking at things. James saw "the skull beneath the skin," and in his own aesthetic he tries to work a way out of a labyrinth from which he knew there was no escape—except through the individual imagination. This i s what Pater means, this i s v/hat Strether realizes, and this i s what Maggie Verver, James' only successful heroine, manages to achieve once she has realized that to make of one's l i f e a work of art can be an exciting and moral experience. A great art c r i t i c then, i s one who can sympathize, c r i t i c i z e , and respond to the art of his time, not by considering criticism as the application of a set of tests, but by considering i t to be the middle-man between two worlds which should, ideally, need no such middle-man—the "real" world and the world of art. Yet the art c r i t i c must never see himself as anything but a middle-man; i f he does, he w i l l commit Ruskin's error, and become a fanatic. "Art i s one of the necessities of l i f e " says James. And Pater, Ruskin and Baudelaire would a l l agree. But, as we have seen, he goes on to say: "even the  c r i t i c s themselves would probably not assert that criticism i s anything more than an agreeable luxury—something like printed talk."->4 Thus, i n any consideration of James as artist, his art criticism must take second place. But i t i s nevertheless a very v i t a l second place and one which should, I feel, put James on an equal par with those other three literary men who had, to a greater or lesser degree, "the painter's eye"—Baudelaire, Ruskin and Pater.  105 FOOTNOTES 1  Sam Hunter, Modern French Fainting. 1855-1956 (New York, I960),  2  Painting in America, p.316.  p. 19.  The History of Impressionism, rev. ed. (New York, 1961), p.370. Rewald says that James' review was an "unexpected echo" of the show, but he does not elaborate on his reasons for thinking i t unexpected. And on p.376 he goes on to say that James' essay was based on Fromentin 's deprecation of plein a i r in painting, but he does not give any evidence for his conclusion. 3  ^ "The Art of Art Criticism," loc. c i t . . p.5.  5 Ibid. 6 Ibid. Ibid.. p.6. 8 Ibid.. p.7. Edel's monumental biography of James leaves one with the impression that James was far more intimate with the many artists of his acquaintance than he was with his fellow-writers, Howells excepted. Beginning with his elder brother, whose f a c i l i t y with the pencil was envied by the young Henry, and with his own "illustrations" to the plays he wrote as a child, James' reaction to the world of the plastic artist appears to have been f i r s t a desire to emulate, and later a tremendous appreciation of the d i f f i c u l t i e s of what had looked so easy—an appreciation based on envy as well as awe. 9  1 0  New American Library ed. (New York, 1959), x i i .  I am, of course, taking the liberty of equating Strether with James himself. 1 1  12  Selected Letters. p.lA2.  ^  Quoted by Robert L. Peters in Victorians on Literature and Art  ^  "The Art of Art Criticism," loc. c i t . . p.13.  1 5  Ibid.  ^  The Renaissance, p.8£.  (New York, 196l), p.123.  106  "The Duke of Montpensier's Pictures in Boston," PjE., p . 8 2 .  1 7  The"Letters of Henry James, ed. Percy Lubbock (New York, 1950), I, p.20. 1 8  f . English Prose of the Victorian Era, sei. and ed. Charles Frederick Harrold and William D. Templeman (New York, 1956), p.8ll. 1 9  c  2 0  "An English Critic of French Painting," PJ3., p.38.  2 1  Ibid.  2 2  2 3  "Les Maitres D'Autrefois," P J 3 . , p . 1 1 9 . Victorians on Literature and Art, p.24«  ^ Two Canadian painters have said that Ruskin destroyed Turner's last paintings becauses they deviated from Ruskin's own conception of painting, but I have been unable to substantiate what may be merely a legend. 2  5 English Prose of the Victorian Era, p.844. (This and the f o l lowing extracts are a l l taken from Modern Painters.) 2  Ruskin's own phrase for the aesthetic deity of the nineteenth century, cf. his lecture called "Traffic," included i n The Crown of Wild Olive'(1866) and reprinted i n Victorians on^Literature and Art, pp.203-220. 2 o  2 7  English Prose of the Victorian Era, p.847.  2 8  Ibid.  2 9  Ibid.  3 0  "Ruskin's Collection of Drawings by Turner," PjE., p.l60.  The Mirror of Art: C r i t i c a l Studies by Charles Baudelaire, trans, and ed. Jonathan Mayne (London, 1955), p.44. (Henceforth designated as The Mirror of Art.) 3 1  3 2  Ibid.  33 "The Letters of Eugene.Delacroix," PJS., p.183. 34 The Mirror of Art, p.78. 3 5  3 6  "French Pictures in Boston," P J 3 . , p.46. The Mirror of Art, p.29.  107 37  The Mirror of Art. p. 254.  3 8  Ibid.. p.28.  3 9  "Pictures by William Morris Hunt, Gerome and Others," P.E..  p.51. A 0  "The Wallace Collection i n Bethnal Green," PJ3., p.7A.  4 1  "Meissonier's  'Friedland•,  11  PJE., p. 110.  £2 The Mirror of Art, p.85. ^  Ibid.. p.84.  V* "The Letters of Eugene Delacroix," P J 2 . , p.187. (My i t a l i c s ) ^ Ibid. 45 46 The Mirror of Art. p.6l. 5  ® 4 8  "Letters of Delacroix," PJjj., p.186. Ibid.  49 cf. Introduction, n.33. 50 The Mirror of Art, p.2335 1  Ibid., p.239.  5 2  Ibid.. p.240  53 Pater makes this statement in Appreciations (1889). cf. English Prose of the Victorian Era, p. 1454. 5  ^ "On Art Criticism and Whistler" (1879), PjJ., p.177.  CONCLUSION THE JAMESIAN AESTHETIC Go and Catch a Falling Star, Get with Child a Mandrake Root.... Style, simplicity, sincerity, composition, craftsmanship, colouring, charm; an awareness of but not a slavish devotion to the ideal, and a passionate belief in the importance of art: these, then, are James aesthetic criteria. But they are not absolutes, and the 1  presence of one or more elements may compensate for the absence of others. James realized that an aesthetic reaction i s primarily subjective—that pleasure as well as pain i s a personal thing. It cannot be defined, i t can only be experienced. To look for a standard set of measurements with which to evaluate a work of art i s not only ludicrous, but also self-destructive. It destroyed Ruskin, who turned the Palace of Art into a sort of assize court in perpetual session...where the gulf between truth and error i s forever yawning at his feet and where the pains of this error are advertized i n apocalyptic terminology, upon a thousand sign posts, and the rash intruder soon,sbegins to look back with infinite longing to the lost paradise of the artless.1 James adds: "A truce to a l l rigidities i s the law of the place; the only thing absolute there i s that some force and charm have worked."  2  This i s what he means when he says, in defence of Delacroix, Art i s really but a point of view and genius but a way  109 of looking at things. The wiser the artist and the finer the genius, the more easy w i l l i t be to conceive of other points of view, other ways of looking at things, than one's own.3 Before a work which calls out to our aesthetic sensibilities, a l l absolutes vanish, and we are only aware that "some force and charm have worked." Therefore, James is not being inconsistent when he shows a predelection, for instance, for the " l i t t l e masters" of Belgium and Holland> while he rejects, the nineteenth century French and English schools of Realism. The sixteenth and seventeenth century realists were "masters of the microscopic,"^ artists who were not only doggedly l i t e r a l , concerned with the real thing (and often even the same thing), but who lacked any imagination at a l l . let The Dutchman...feels that, unless he i s faithful he is nothing. He must confer a charm as well as borrow one ...and his l i t t l e picture, therefore, lives and speaks and tells of perfection.5 The humbler masters have charm, and their charm rests on their serene belief that the head of a cabbage is as interesting as the head of a Madonna, and that the scrubbed floors and polished tiles of Amsterdam or Bruges are more than merely media for the display of technical s k i l l , they are reflections of a way of l i f e . The Palace of Art may have been reduced (by the Protestant Reformation) to a kitchen, but they s t i l l believed that a kitchen could be a clean, well-lighted place where sunlight streamed across the face of the young wife pouring milk from a blue pitcher into a yellow- bowl. They trusted their eyes, and their eyes only, but they believed with a l l their hearts  110 that what they saw was beautiful and worth preserving, stroke by laborious stroke, for a l l posterity to see. When Realism became didactic, when the artist' believed he must be a realist f i r s t and a painter second, when he became, in effect, a preacher rather than a painter, his work became hard and superficial and cold. Thus James i s not merely being quaint when he cries, before a painting by the nineteenth century Fleming, Tissot, "Is there then, to be no more delightful realism?"  0  Delight had turned to dogmatism. "Half the battle of art  is won in the artist's consciousness."'''  There was plenty of science  and s k i l l in the work of the new realists, and sometimes the s k i l l i s so great that i t can make James admit that the clever trompe d'oeil has succeeded i n convincing him that the trick was worth applauding, but most of the time he finds i t as mechanical and "posed" as the set smile and s t i f f attitudes of the Daguerrotypes. To James, the greatest artist i s an alchemist, not a photographer. Yet the English, who turned their backs squarely on reality and retreated to Corinth or Camelot, were also regarded by Henry James as mistaken. That the Palace of Art had been replaced by the factory was unfortunate, i t was true. But that the factory should be disguised by Grecian drapery and Gothic arch was slightly less than ludicrous. Ruskin himself deplored that fact that his "back to the Middle Ages" campaign had produced such grotesque results, and his famous address to the citizens of Bradford, in Yorkshire, on the function of architecture and the interdependence between the form of architecture in a given period and the philosophy of the people who created i t , shows  Ill this awareness.  But Ruskin tried to replace the Englishman's wor-  8  ship of the "Goddess-of-getting-on" by elevating i n her place a gothic saint (he himself becoming at the same time a medieval guild master), and his solution was no solution at a l l . James always accepts the here and now and uses i t as a basis upon which to create a new synthesis of what i s (Realism) and what ought to be (Romantic Idealism). The fact that he f e l t such a synthesis was necessary is a point to which we have referred i n the Introduction. Romantic idealism appears to this c r i t i c as a valid way of describing one aspect of James' aesthetic theory, i f theory i t can be called. And It i s this aspect which results in the inclusion of colour, passion, and "a sense of the ideal" among his criteria. It i s what attracted him to the Romantic painters of England and France, Turner for example, and Delacroix. He. quotes a letter of Delacroix' i n which the artist says, writing to a friend about the academic preoccupation with line and drawing, 'Yes, Rubens draws—yes, Correggio dra\^s; but neither of these men had any quarrel with the ideal. Without the ideal there i s neither painting, nor drawing, nor colours....' 9  And James comments, "Delacroix had, with the highest degree of spontaneity, the i d e a l . "  1 0  The inclusion of the word "spontaneity" indi-  cates once again that James refuses to admit that the Ideal, once i t becomes an academic discipline, has any validity. The unfortunate M. Theobold turned the quest for the Ideal into blank canvas. Henry James Sr. and the American Transcendentalists turned the Ideal into  112 a p h i l o s o p h i c d i s c i p l i n e and a g a i n ended up w i t h g r e a t p r i n c i p l e s and  small production.  a grand c o n c e p t i o n  D e l a c r o i x * I d e a l i s m combined, i n h i s b e s t works,  w i t h a g r e a t p a s s i o n , and as a r e s u l t we get  j u s t the s u r f a c e , but the s u b s t a n c e of t h i n g s . He may  represent  not imag-  i n e d types r a t h e r t h a n e x a c t c o p i e s , e i t h e r f r o m n a t u r e ( R e a l i s m ) or statues  (Neo-Classicism),  but h i s types a r e h i s own;  they are h i s  s u b j e c t i v e v i s i o n o f what the I d e a l would be. Thus when we  observe the  s p l i t between C l a s s i c i s m (what was),  Romantic  Idealism  R e a l i s m (what i s ) and  (what ought t o b e ) , i t would seem t h a t James comes down  h e a v i l y on the s i d e of the Romantics. T h i s may  appear t o be a  d i c t i o n o f what I have s a i d above. But t h i s i s o n l y one c r i t i c a l c o i n . The  o t h e r s i d e i s h i s own  contra-  s i d e of h i s  brand of R e a l i s m — p r a g m a t i s m .  A system based on r e s u l t s r a t h e r than aims can h a r d l y be c a l l e d a philosophy  because i t d e n i e s the e x i s t e n c e of u n d e r l y i n g p r i n c i p l e s ;  Beauty ceases t o be an a b s o l u t e  towards w h i c h t o s t r i v e , T r u t h i s  m e r e l y a r e l a t i v e m a t t e r , y e t i t can be used as s u c h i n comparing it  t o p h i l o s o p h i c a l i d e a l i s m . Pragmatism s t r e s s e s the i n d i v i d u a l  r a t h e r than the type and and We  p a r a d o x i c a l l y reduces B e a u t y , T r u t h , Hope  F a i t h t o common nouns, t o g e n e r a l s have seen t h a t James  1  comment on a p a r t i c u l a r work of a r t u s u a l l y  i n v o l v e s a p r a g m a t i c judgement. "'The and  r a t h e r than t o p a r t i c u l a r s .  charm have worked." And  only absolute  i s t h a t some f o r c e  y e t , a t the same t i m e , he i s always  s e a r c h i n g f o r the a r t i s t l i k e D e l a c r o i x , the man  who  has a sense o f  t h e i d e a l . Thus he f a l l s between two s t o o l s , and  the c r i t i c who  t o f i t James i n t o a r i g i d p h i l o s o p h i c a l c a t e g o r y w i l l come away  tries  113 annoyed and disappointed. Poor Henry. It is as though Henry Sr., i n the armour of Transcendentalism,  were announcing to him in one ear,  "Hamlet, I am thy father's ghost," while William, i n the robes of Polonius/Pragmatism, is whispering in the other, "This above a l l , to thine own self be true." Was the Palace of Art to be constructed along ideal lines, however shadowy the blueprints, or x^s i t to be erected helter-skelter on the principle that so long as i t stood up i t would serve? But James was also an i r o n i s t — h e saw the gulf between what man says he is and what he i s , between what he i s and what he ought to be. So also did he see the difference between what art had been, and what i t was i n the nineteenth century.  11  He fdund i t ironic that what the  Philistines wanted was Culture, and that what they got was themselves in fancy dress. But instead of elevating his taste, as Ruskin was trying so vehemently to do, James knew that i t could only be elevated from within, so he l e f t the Philistines to discover, i f they could, the aesthetic principles. Expanding one's consciousness can only be accomplished by oneself, and the taste of a society could only be raised by the society i t s e l f . Matthew Arnold saw the importance of the harmony between poet and moment, but James f e l t that no such harmony could ever again exi s t . Indeed, the plastic artists x^hom he most admires are those yho f e l t , not only the gulf betx-reen the real and the ideal, but the gap between the microcosm and the macrocosm—artists like Tintoretto, Rembrandt, Velasquez, Delacroix—because  they felt passionately about  l i f e . Rubens and Leighton were both men who accepted and delighted In  114 the cultural milieu of their times, and the former appears "coarse" to James, the latter " b r i l l i a n t l y superficial." Imagination i s at i t s highest pitch when "the times are out of joint," and i t i s imagination, combined' with a sense of the past, with tradition, which creates not only nexj points of view, but great art. Of what value, then, i s James art criticism to the student of 1  James the artist? Is i t merely a "significant tributary of his talent," as Sweeney suggests, or i s i t something more than this? I have attempted briefly to indicate not only what opinions James held about the leading aesthetic movements of his time, but also why he held these opinions. I have also tried to suggest in what ways he i s d i f f e r ent from the major  art critics of his day, and in what ways he i s  similar. I also believe that James art criticism can help us to a 1  greater appreciation of his novels. If i t can, then i t i s an important contribution to any discussion of, not only the meaning of many of his works, but also the style in which they are written. I think that i t is also interesting to point out the definite link between James' theory of art and the work of the best modern artists. When Cezanne revolted against impressionistic theory in his attempt to "paint Poussin from nature,"  12  rather than content him-  self with mere representations of colour and light, he turned to an analysis, of forms. He was concerned, not only with an investigationinto the nature of solids, the roundness of an apple, for instance, but with composition and the relationship between one form and another.  115 In order to give a true rendering of objects he used deliberate distortion and foreshortening, and thus his painting often appears strange and "unreal" to the eye accustomed to photographic rather than synthetic reality. Picasso too became interested in form, overlapping many points of view at once to give the impression of a solid form rather than a f l a t photographic reproduction. In sculpture Henry Moore has shown how the material limits the form, how the sculpture i s there in the stone or the block of marble, and one need only suggest the "subject" to attain a dynamic work of art. Having denied a l l absolutes and traditional ways of looking at things, aware of the many points of view from which we see objects, artists such as these have attempted to impose an order on this chaos through an awareness of Form. Now this is very close to the sort of thing the most f u l l y aware characters in James' novels do, and also very close to what James himself was attempting to do i n the exercise of his craft. Once one recognizes the possibility of many points of view, "of other ways of looking at things than one's own," one must attempt some sort of synthesis or end up in psychic collapse. Hyacinth Robinson could not achieve this synthesis, Maggie Verver could. One must make of one's l i f e a work of art, and that is why James ideal society, and the ideal society of 1  a l l serious twentieth century artists, i s , as Arnold Hauser says, a society made up "of real or potential artists, of a r t i s t i c natures for whom reality is merely the substratum of aesthetic experience.  1113  The modern artist, now completely divorced from society, has turned the Palace of Art Into a Chapel Perilous towards which he rides  116 on a disenchanted yet desperate quest for Beauty, the Grail i n which he no longer believes. Thus James could not r i d himself of a concept of the ideal, and this aesthetic unrest, this conflict between pragmatic self and Romantic soul, occurs i n a l l of his major novels and makes the reading of them an experience similar to overhearing a man's conversations with himself. That a synthesis was possible he showed in The Golden Bowl. That i t was unlikely he showed in The Ambassadors. A tragic vision of l i f e can result in personal tragedy, but Strether's exhortation to L i t t l e Bilham to "Live, live a l l you can" i s James' method of saying that one must keep one's eye on his ideal conception of himself or he w i l l discover, too late, that he cannot achieve a full life. Many great writers of the nineteenth and twentieth century are i r o n i s t s — o r so i t seems to rae. Their symbol of the Ideal may be the "golden bowl as i t was to have been," a green light at the end of a Long Island dock, a fight with a monster whale or a light glowing dimly on a ship off the coast of Siam. That their heroes cannot achieve this ideal i s not so much the fault of their creators' imaginations, but a fault of the age in which they l i v e . The price we pay for knowledge i s knowing too much. And so the artist drinks or he uses drugs or he becomes so obsessed with Method—all of these narcotics to the chaos of the age—that he ceases to expand his aesthetic awareness and ceases to be. In "Sensibility and Technique (Preface to a Critique)" David  117 Daich.es maintains that James' moral sense i s "wholly dependent upon his sense of aesthetic significance, 4- although James himself would nl  probably not express i t i n these terms. For to James, as to so many "modern" novelists who avoid both the terms "moral" and "aesthetic," what has aesthetic significance possesses moral significance automatically. 15 James does not, of course, completely avoid the terms "moral" and "aesthetic," but we have seen that his use of "moral" i s limited to the execution of a work of art, to the amount of "felt l i f e " which the artist has managed to i n s t i l l in:, i t . Thus i t would seem that Daiches' statement i s correct, and that morality, for James, i s inseparable from aesthetics. If a painter has approached his subject c l i n i c a l l y (Gerome or Meissonier) or half-heartedly (Leighton), James' reaction to the finished work i s a moral as well as an aesthetic reaction. Imagination combined with sensitivity equals sensibility, which i s , in i t s e l f , for James at least, a fusion of aesthetics and morality. For him the art of painting, and the plastic arts i n general, offer not a retreat from l i f e but a way of approaching i t , an "outward and visible sign" of what the imaginative viewing consciousness can do with the amorphous and often terrifying external world of nature. But the artists whom James most admires are those who are not content with merely imposing order upon external or visual reality, but those who also reflect i n their work an imagination which transcends the spatio-temporal world and becomes one with a higher, almost Platonic, reality. Yet James i s no Platonist, for he believes that  118 this higher reality i s basically an illusion and rests no higher than the human heart. As Daiches says, "Art...tends towards the ideal, but without ever quite transcending the imagination from which i t sprang." Imagination, Baudelaire's "Queen of the f a c u l t i e s , "  17  is the keystone  upon which the Jamesian aesthetic i s based. Life, i f viewed with imagination, becomes an aesthetic as well as a moral challenge to impose form and order on our essentially formless and disordered existence. James can imagine a universe without God but, like Baudelaire, he cannot imagine a universe without man. Man creates his own heaven and his own h e l l , and, incidentally, his own concept of the ideal. As the consciousness expands, the ideal may have to be changed or even completely discarded, just as the concept of the real may undergo change. Viola Hopkins states that Undoubtedly an artist's perceptions of reality, of which his way of seeing things i s an important part, shape his method of expression: when inherited techniques are i n adequate to express the new vision, new techniques must be created.18 James would assert that this applies not only to artists but to a l l sensitive men and women. In the novels and tales we see his Americans equipped with "inherited techniques" which are inadequate for an expression of their new reactions. If they learn to change their techniques, to look at the world with a painter's rather than a puritan's eye, then they w i l l acquire the plastic vision which i s necessary for a satisfactory aesthetic/moral relationship between themselves and the world around them. If they do not acquire this vision, they are doomed. The a b i l i t y to see things in the round,  119 to understand "other points of view than one's own" is necessary i f their lives, like that of their creator, are to ba an aesthetic adventure.  120 FOOTNOTES 1  2  James, Italian Hours, p . 1 3 0 .  (My i t a l i c s )  Ibid.  3 See above Chapter V, n . 3 3 . ^ "The Metropolitan Museum's 1871 Purchase," P J 2 . , p . 6 4 . . Ibid., p.65. "The Picture Season in London," P^E., p . 1 4 1 . 7  "The 1871 Purchase," PJL., p . 6 5 .  8 This was the lecture called "Traffic." See above ChapterW, n.26. Ruskin in Stones of Venice said that he was forced to leave his present home because " i t is surrounded everywhere by the accursed Frankenstein monsters of, indirectly, my own making." (Quoted by Robert L. Peters in Victorians on Literature and Art.) "The Letters of Eugene Delacroix," RJS., p.187. 9  Ibid. In "The Spoils of Henry James," PMLA. LXI (194-6), pp.239-51. Adeline R. Tintner discusses James' analogies in his novels between the faults i n contemporary art and the faults i n the society which produced i t . 1 1  12  As quoted in Modern French Painting, p.79. What Cezanne appears to have meant, i s that he wanted to create something more permanent than the Impressionists' accidents of light and shade. 13 The Social History of Art. Vol. 2, trans. Stanley Godman (London, 1951), p . 8 8 4 . U  KR, V (194-3), 575.  1 5  Ibid.. p.576.  1 6  Ibid., p.577.  17 Baudelaire devotes an entire section of the "Salon of 1859" to Imagination, and he entitles i t thus. cf. The Mirror of Art, pp.231-35. 18 "Visual Art Devices and Parallels in the Fiction of Henry James," PMIA. LXXVI.(l96l), 571.  121 BIBLIOGRAPHY Baudelaire, Charles. The Mirror of Art: C r i t i c a l Studies by Charles Baudelaire. Trans, and ed. Jonathan Mayne. London, 1955. Child, Ruth C. The Aesthetic of Walter Pater. New York, 1949. Daiches, David. "Sensibility and Technique (Preface to a Critique)," KR> V (1943), 575-89. Edel, Leon. Henry James? The Untried Years. New York, 1953. . Henry James: The Conquest of London. New York, 1962. . Henry James: The Middle Years. New York, 1962. Gaunt, William. The Aesthetic Adventure. London, 1945. _. Bandits in a "Landscape: A Study of Romantic Painting; from Caravaggio to Delacroix. London, 1937. . British Painting; from Hogarth's Day to Ours. London, 1946. Victorian Olympus,• New York, 1952. Gombrich, E.H. The Story of Art. London, 1950. Hamerton, P.G. Thoughts About Art. Rev. ed. Boston, 1882. Harrod, Charles Frederick and Templeman, William D. (eds.). English Prose of the Victorian Era. New York, 1956. Hauser, Arnold. The Social History of Art. Trans. Stanley Godman. 2 vols. London, 1951. Hopkins, Viola. "Visual Art Devices and Parallels i n the Fiction of Henry James." PMLA, LXXVI (Autumn~ 1961). 561-74. Howard, Leon. Literature and the American Tradition. New York, I 9 6 0 . Hunter, Sam. Modern French Painting. 1855-1956. New York, I960. James, Henry. Henry James: The American Essays. Ed. Leon Edel. New York, 1956. . The Art of the Novel: C r i t i c a l Prefaces by Henry James. New York, 1935.  122 James, Henry. Henry James: Autobiography (A Small Boy and Others, Notes of a Son and Brother. The Middle Years). Ed. F.W. Dupee. New York, 1956. . Fifteen Short Stories by Henry James. Ed. Morton Dauwen Zabel. New York, 1961. - French Poets and Novelists. Second edn. London and New York, 1893. The Future of the Novel: Essays on the Art of Fiction. Ed. Leon Edel. New York, 1956. . Italian Hours. London, 1909. ...  . The Letters of Henry James. Ed. Percy Lubbock. 2 vols. New York, 1920. _. Literary Reviews and Essays by Henry James on American. English and French Literature. Ed. Albert Mordell. New York, 1957. • The Notebooks of Henry James. Ed. F.O. Matthiessen and Kenneth B. Murdock. New York, 1961. . 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Suffolk, England, 1951. . The Tenth Muse; Essays in Criticism. New York, 1958. Rewald, John. The History of Impressionism. Rev. ed. New York, 1961. Richardson, E.P. Painting in America: The Story of £50 Years. New York, 1956. Sypher, Wylie. Rococo to Cubism i n Art and Literature. New York, I960. Tintner, Adeline R. "The Spoils of Henry James," PMLA, LSI (March, 1946), 239-51.  

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