Volltext: The brothers Maris

him by his real friends, Mr. and Mrs. van Wisselingh, who, if they 
only could persuade him to produce in paint his exquisite ideas, 
would render still further the world of Art their debtors. 
An ounce of personal knowledge being worth a ton of second-hand 
experience, I think it worth while to relate another personal incident 
which took place between Mr. Matthew Maris and myself so long 
ago as 1890, nearly seventeen years before the present time of 
I published my quarto book on the Barbizon School of Painters in 
that year, a work which had occupied my leisure time for three years 
and a half previously. At that period Iwas a fairly constant visitor to 
the studio of Mr. M. Swan, whom, from the first, I am proud to 
have been able justly to appreciate. I had often spoken of my book 
and on its publication I was delighted to receive from Mr. Swan 
one of his brilliant drawings ofa Lion in exchange for a copy. 
This volume lay about Mr. Swan's studio for some time, and Mr. 
Matthew Maris, being then a Welcome visitor, noticed it and 
expressed some interest in its contents. I had only once spoken 
with Mr. Maris, but I knew his wonderful gift in painting, and I 
was much gratified by what Mr. Swan told me. I had written the 
book from the artistic, and not from the literary point of view. I 
had not hesitated to sacrifice the nice turning ofa sentence ifI was 
to arrive nearer the truth, and readers of much art-criticism of to-day 
will understand what that means. Therefore, to be commended by 
so unique a spirit as Mr. Matthew Maris was exceedingly pleasant, 
especially after having just sustained some unfriendly comments 
by a literary man who considered I was too seriously poaching on 
his preserves.  
So, after consultation with my much better known friend Mr. Swan, 
I resolved to send a copy with a brief note to Mr. Maris and ask his 
acceptance of it, and this was duly carried out. A certain time 
passed-about a month--and I began to wonder what effect my 
offering had had, when, on September 9th, 1890, I received a letter 
and a gift. 
Mr. Maris had taken the trouble to paint a head and send it to me- 
the one reproduced in colour herein  22), under the title Sz'.rka- 
a canvas measuring fifteen by twelve inches, painted in oil, and one 
of his most characteristic later works. The letter accompanying the 
gift is one of the treasures of my life, because the artist says of my 
book: "I like it because it is generously written and will do some 
good," and he concludes as in the following facsimile  
xviii B M


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