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On the walls were a few impressionist paintings and some gallant French engravings of the eighteenth century: for Hassler pretended to some knowledge of all the arts, and Manet and Watteau were joined together in his taste in accordance with the prescription of his coterie.

And along the borders of it and under its clipped trees, by its fountains and ghostly lawns, still, still can one catch in the twilight the shimmer of the dancing feet of the Phantom-Pierrot, and the despair in his smile! For him, too for Gilles the Mummer as for Antoine Watteau and Walter Pater, the wistfulness of such places is not inconsistent with their levity. Soon the music must stop.

The grass is growing deep on our old ramparts, and it is pleasant to walk there to walk there and muse; pleasant for a tame, unambitious soul such as mine. December 1792. Antony Watteau left us for Paris this morning. It came upon us quite suddenly. They amuse themselves in Paris.

His life, veiled toward the last, was not a happy one, though he was recognised as a great painter. Watteau concealed some cankering secret; so Botticelli. Both belong to the band of the Disquieted. Melancholy was at the base of the Florentine's work. He created as a young man in joy and freedom, but the wings of Dürer's bat were outstretched over his head: Melencolia!

He entered Paris as a young man, without friends, without money or connections of any kind, and after wandering forlornly, about the great city, he found employment with a dealer who made hundreds of saints for out-of-town churches. It is said that for this first employer Watteau made dozens and dozens of pictures of St.

Nor was this all. There were fine gentlemen with swords and silk waistcoats and silver shoe-buckles, and ladies in filmy summer gowns. Greuze ruled the mode in France then, but New Orleans had not got beyond Watteau. As for Nick and me, we knew nothing of Greuze and Watteau then, and we could only stare in astonishment.

More remote, and half hidden from the precincts of the chateau, are the Chaumière and the Ermitage and they recall the background of a Fragonard or a Watteau. It is all very "stagy" but, since it exists, can hardly be called unreal. The park proper, containing more than twelve hundred hectares, is one of the largest and most thickly wooded in France.

"Your chef is a real Watteau, Monsieur a marvel at design." "He doubtless dreamt what stars were to beam over his landscape, Madame," he answered, for he had at least kept grip of his wits. "What stars, Monsieur?" "My lady's eyes, n'est-ce pas?" he answered. The stars thus eulogised brimmed with smiles and searched his face.

The Louis Quinze painters may be said, indeed, to have had the romantic temperament with the classic inspiration. They have audacity rather than freedom, license modified by strict limitation to the lines within which it is exercised. But there can be no doubt that this limitation is more conspicuous in their charmingly irresponsible works than is, essentially speaking, their irresponsibility itself. They never give their imagination free play. Sportive and spontaneous as it appears, it is equally clear that its activities are bounded by conservatory confines. Watteau, born on the Flemish border, is almost an exception. Temperament in him seems constantly on the verge of conquering tradition and environment. Now and then he seems to be on the point of emancipation, and one expects to come upon some work in which he has expressed himself and attested his ideality. But one is as constantly disappointed. His color and his cleverness are always admirable and winning, but his import is perversely almost bewitchingly slight. What was he thinking of? one asks, before his delightful canvases; and one's conclusion inevitably is, certainly as near nothing at all as can be consistent with so much charm and so much real power. As to Watteau, one's last thought is of what he would have been in a different æsthetic atmosphere, in an atmosphere that would have stimulated his really romantic temperament to extra-traditional flights, instead of confining it within the inexorable boundaries of classic custom; an atmosphere favorable to the free exercise of his adorable fancy, instead of rigorously insistent on conforming this, so far as might be, to customary canons, and, at any rate, restricting its exercise to material

There are only two pictures on the walls: "The Departure of the Newly Married Couple," exquisitely painted by Lancret; and "The Prediction," an adorable work by Watteau, bought at an incredible price at the Pourtales sale. Over the chimney-piece is a miniature by Pommayrac, representing Micheline as a little child a treasure which Madame Desvarennes cannot behold without tears coming to her eyes.

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