Excerpt from Dutch Painters of the Nineteenth Century: With Biographical Notices When the publisher asked me to write an introduction to this work I gladly accepted his invitation; nor was I long in seeking my material.
The book comprises a series of articles, by various well-known writers, on the life and works of the most celebrated Dutch painters of this century. The contributors are personal friends of the artists themselves, in whose studios they have seen many of the works which they describe, and from whose lips they have heard the facts they here relate. There was no doubt therefore what my introduction should contain.
Each of the biographical sketches, which are brought together in this volume, stands by itself. The various pictures are treated separately, each filling its own particular frame, as though it had neither predecessors nor successors nor yet contemporaries and belonged to no school but its own. Yet we know that not even the greatest and most original artist can escape from the influence of his time and surroundings; can be com pletely and fairly judged, if separated from what precedes and environs him. His greatness is discovered by contrast; his achievement is recognized when compared with that of others; his importance is gauged by what others have done, whether they be greater or less than himself. My Object will be therefore to point out' the threads which bind the modern painters together, and their connexion with the older school as well as their lines of divergence.
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