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THE ART AMATEUR, 



133 



Exhibition in 1878. He was one of the founders and 
chief exhibitors of the Socigte" d'Aquarellistes. 

Louis Leloir both as an oil painter and as an 
aquarelliste was an artist of exquisite and elegant tal- 
ent. However great may be our admiration for the 
old Dutch masters, we must, I think, admit that many 
of the modern French painters have equalled and 
even surpassed them, and among these masters I 
would rank Louis Leloir. Such and such a one of his 
pictures, " La Tentation," " La S6r6nade," " La FSte 
du Grand' pere" are as fine as the paintings of Metzu 
or Terburg, and the French master puts into his 
familiar and anecdotic subjects a dash of sprightly 
wit that does no harm when it is brought in dis- 
creetly. Happy nowadays are the genre painters ! 
They are feted, praised, made rich, live in palaces 
and have all satisfaction, while the artists who are 
simple enough still to attach any importance to the 
expression of thoughts that require the style of a 
Chenavard, an Ingres, a 
Puvis de Chavannes or a 
Baudry, make their way 
obscurely and painfully, 
and arrive late at suc- 
cess, if they arrive at all. 

In water-color painting 
Louis Leloir achieved a 
finish and brilliancy hith- 
erto unequalled. His 
palette, like that of Gus- 
tave Moreau, was a verit- 
able jewel casket, and 
his colors molten topaz, 
ruby and sapphire ; but 
his most dazzling yel- 
lows, his pure reds, his 
blues, such as the ancient 
chemists could not make, 
his deep greens, were 
broken and faded when 
needful, so that his co- 
loring was at once vio- 
lent and harmonious, 
like the coloring of Chi- 
nese and Japanese porce- 
lain. Furthermore, in 
spite of the brilliancy of 
the silks, satins, carpets 
and other accessories of 
his pictures, the faces of 
his subjects were never 
sacrificed ; the expres- 
sion was always there, 
and the eye was at once 
captivated by its grace / 

and charm. Charles 
Blanc, speaking of Le- 
loir' s water-colors at the 
Exhibition of 1878, said 
with admiration and as- 
tonishment : " Voila un 
peintre qui a recul6 les 
bornes de son art !" 
" Here is a painter who 
has enlarged the domain 
of his art !" . 

Leloir of late years de- 
voted much of his grace 
and delicate imagination 
to the service of of one 

the loveliest ornaments of woman, the fan, and the 
day is not far distant when Leloir's fans will be sought 
for as eagerly and prized as highly as those of Watteau. 
As an illustrator, too, he has left a splendid monu- 
ment of his talent in the series of drawings etched by 
Flameng for Jonaust's edition of Moliere. And this 
year, if his health had permitted, he would have given 
the publisher Conquet twelve drawings and an origi- 
nal etching to illustrate " Mademoiselle de Maupin," 
a series for which he was to receive $5000. He had 
also in progress at the time of his death a series of 
drawings to illustrate an edition of Musset, and a 
unique copy of Scarron's "Roman Comique," the 
pages and margins of which he was covering with 
water-colors, drawings, vignettes and letters, with a 
view to engraving the whole one day in eau-forte. 
" Etching," he wrote to a friend last August, " tempts 
me very much. I am making some essays, and I hope 
soon to be able to show you something." _ E. V. 



GEORGE FULLER. 



The flavor of Hawthorne's New England, which 
saturates George Fuller's work, is due to more than 
the choice of names from Hawthorne's legends for his 
ideal figures. It was no calculating purpose to select 
popular subjects for his pictures that drew him to the 
sad shadows of our earlier colonial history, with their 
fascinating mystery of remoteness, their pathos and 
horror, their sublime examples of dedication and 
sacrifice to a stern and awful fanaticism of right- 
eousness. Fuller's development was reached as 
naturally as Hawthorne's, proceeding from the same 
germs and stock, and nurtured by the same environ- 
ment and by a singularly similar experience. Like 
Hawthorne, he labored silently and in obscurity for 
the best part of his life, for thirty years or so, before 
his genius or his purpose even was recognized and 
appreciated as it deserved. Like Hawthorne he was 




THE LATE LOUIS LELOIR. CRAYON PORTRAIT BY HIMSELF 



fated, fortunately after all, to be fixed by a small 
patrimony amid rural surroundings redolent of New 
England history. With a heart burning for high 
artistic achievement, he was forbidden by circum- 
stances, as much as by the unconquerable shyness of 
his nature, to engage in the struggle for notoriety in 
the great centres which set the stamp of success on 
the world's favorites. Thus forced back upon the 
pure and grand associations of nature and upon his 
own thought and feeling, he distilled from a delicate 
natural sentiment the fit nutriment for an exalted 
artistic growth. Hawthorne's extraordinary shyness 
performed the same good office for him. While his 
contemporaries were winning a certain fame in the 
noisy, passing popular apprehension of the day, Haw- 
thorne, feeding on his own heart in his little house in a 
side-street in Salem or in his more retired country 
home, remote even from such centres as Salem, was 
— not without bitterness, however, at his lot as it then 



appeared — building an immortality. Fuller indeed 
had made an essay at the artist's life in the capitals 
and centres of art — in Albany and Boston and New 
York — and had won to a certain ordinary and com- 
monplace degree of excellence in the practice of his 
art. But it was not until he said, like Emerson, 
" Good-by, proud world, I'm going home," and 
turned his back on the cities with their clubs and cir- 
cles of artists and conventionalities of aim and study, 
and gone to live his own life upon his father's farm at 
Deerfield, where he must think his own thought, for 
very lack of any other, upon art in that neighborhood, 
and brood over his own ideals, that he began to 
evolve the distinct and unique genius that was to be 
in painting what Hawthorne is in literature— another 
characteristic efflorescence of the aesthetic nature which 
lay under Puritanism like the arbutus under snow, and 
which the hard, unfa voring conditions of New Eng- 
land only disciplined to a thrice-refined purity. The 

rather patronizing regret 
which some of the New 
York academicians- have 
expressed since his death 
that he did not stay with 
them after his success 
with his portrait of his 
first teacher, H. K. 
Brown, the sculptor of 
Albany, which secured 
him, at the age of thirty- 
five (1857), the associate 
membership and rise to 
the doubtful dignity of 
full membership, is quite 
beside the mark. His 
disheartened departure 
from New York was, as 
we see it now, an escape, 
a rescue. Not that it 
could not be wished that 
he had attained a more 
perfect mastery of tech- 
nique in his youth 
(though his landscapes of 
that period, not a bit like 
his later work, albeit 
solid in values and so- 
berly true in color are 
only too finished in hand- 
ling), but he could hardly 
have maintained or de- 
veloped in the compan- 
ionships of city artist-life 
the rare and delicate in- 
dividuality of sentiment 
which is now his precious 
contribution to Ameri- 
can art. No doubt the 
influence of the Allston 
cult, brought to bear on 
him while he was study- 
ing drawing and paint- 
ing in Boston, was in 
the direction to profit his 
higher artistic nature ; 
and his eight months in 
Europe must have had 
an inestimable influence 
in elevating and broad- 
ening his views. But, 
after all, the aroma of his " Winifred Dysart," of his 
" Gathering Simples," of " And She was a Witch," 
the exquisite ■' note" by which a Fuller is hereafter to 
be known as a fuller and will not be confounded with 
anything else, was drawn, like the aroma of a good 
wine, from the soil, from his native New England, 
irom the history, the people, the morals, the inherited 
character of Massachusetts. It is not a rich soil, and 
not the juiciest geniality of character springs upon it ; 
but there is something of quality that is distinct and 
imperishable of flavor. George Fuller himself had 
no sort of consciousness or pride in such matters, and 
would have been the last to set himself up as a repre- 
sentative man in any way. Nothing could be more 
painful to those who knew than to hear his peculiar 
method of painting ascribed to affectation or to an 
assertive mannerism. He simply lived his own life 
out in the most straightforward fashion, as was neces- 
sary to a genuine and modest manliness, C.