Page images

ting spaniel dog in the foreground, who ap- don, and Paris. I have heard it said that the parently has a glass eye. The picture has moon in it is Whistler's only moon. no appearance of probability, but whoever In the main hall of the second floor, occulooks at it will smile, and always with a smile pied otherwise only by bronze sculpture, are of pleasure. It is at the same time a triumph four very large architectural paintings by of gayety and a triumph of technique. Hubert Robert, a French painter of about a

A refined and agreeable picture is “The hundred years ago. They represent classiAnxious Mother," by the German Ernst Zim- cal ruins upon a large scale, wholly imagimermann, in which an old physician in black nary, or at least freely idealized, and are persmall-clothes in upright gravity feels the pulse haps the best works of the artist. In their of a rather robust child, who throws himself present position they exemplify the advanback in the lap of his mother. The mother tages of appropriate installation, occupying wears a yellow dress and the picture would a position similar to that for which they serve very well as “an arrangement in black were intended in a French chateau. The and yellow," if it had not a subject.

heightening of the dignity of the room and There are excellent pictures by Corot, of the pictures is reciprocal. The pictures Troyon, Van Marcke, Clays, Gérôme, De- themselves representimmense Romanarches, taille, and F. de Neuville.

columns, stairways, and fountains set under The reckless Courbet is well represented transparent skies and enlivened by gay little by a rather grim Alpine landscape, the af- groups of figures. fluent Makart by a horizontal decorative panel There are a few modern French pictures, very rich in color, and Munkacsy by an im- such as a seacoast of Monet, “Bad Weather portant picture, “The Wrestler's Challenge,” at Pourville," eminently impressionistic; a a scene in a European tap-room, in which congregation in a country church, “Mass in the figures are characterized in the artist's Brittany,” Lucien Simon; excellent landwonderful manner, but in which the asphal- scapes, “Solitude,” by Cazin, and “Marshes tum color threatens to carry the picture into in the North of Holland,” by Jettel; the fine irretrievable blackness.

"Shepherd's Star,” mentioned above, of The Nickerson collection of pictures ac- Jules Breton; and the portrait of Manet by companies a remarkable collection of jades, Fantin-Latour. This last is a picture which crystals, and Japanese porcelains, bronzes, arrests attention and perhaps excites a smile. and lacquers, and is installed with these objects li was painted by Fantin-Latour for his friend in two rooms finely fitted for their reception. Manet and is so inscribed. It is a two-thirds “The Old Castle," by George Michel, standing figure, nearly full front. A brown“Golden Autumn Day," by Van Marcke, whiskered, keen-eyed, fresh-looking man, in and “The Music Lesson," by Ribot, may be a dark sack coat and a tall hat of ancient mentioned among important pictures, and French vintage, holding his cane crosswise there are works by Cabanel, Delacroix, Dupré, in both hands, looks frankly out at the specFromentin, Alma-Tadema, and Couture tator. The costume, to us slightly groamong Europeans; and by Church, Davis, tesque, and the simplicity and vivacity of Inness, Neal, Vedder, Wyant, and Weeks arrangement and expression, make it a strikamong Americans.

ing and satisfactory piece of portraiture. The miscellaneous collection, of paintings The recent American pictures most worthy purchased by the Art Institute or given of attention are Dannat's “Sacristy in Ara. singly by donors, includes some important gon,” Chase's “ Alice,” Alexander Harrison's pictures.

One of Whistler's nocturnes, “Les Amateurs," Hitchcock's “ Flower Girl called “Southampton Water," illustrates in Holland," and Miss Shaw's “Russet well one phase of Whistler's art, a few blue. Year.” Miss Annie Shaw was a Chicago girl gray, silvery tones with dim suggestions of who never travelled farther than Boston, and vessels and docks, a quiet musical effect, who died in 1887. Her remarkable concepforever incomprehensible to the ordinary tion of the broader aspects of nature asserts visitor and to all prosaic and academic critics. itself in this picture, which holds its own with No man at present, however, may lightly ex- the important works with which it is surpress himself adversely to Whistler's fan- rounded and might easily be mistaken for an tasies. This picture has travelled to the early work of one of the Barbizon painters. loan exhibitions of Whistler in Boston, Lon


[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]


-“ A Knight of the Cumberland," page 455

[blocks in formation]


ARGEST, and at one time most impor- species on its native range; as also did

tant of all America's big game, the Coronado, the next explorer,who penetrated

Bison or Buffalo was the first to be the country of the Buffalo from the West by discovered by the explorers of the sixteenth way of Arizona and New Mexico. century.

The earliest discovery of the Bison in In 1521, Cortez, the Spanish conqueror Eastern North America, or indeed anyof Mexico, reached Montezuma's capital, where north of Coronado's route, was made the city of Mexico, and there, in the menag- somewhere near Washington, District of erie, saw the first American Bison to be Columbia, in 1612, by the Englishman, viewed by European eyes. The menagerie Samuel Argall, afterward deputy-governor and the beast are thus described by Antonio of Virginia, and narrated as follows: de Solis (“Conquest of Mexico," 1684): “As soon as I had unladen this corne, I

“In the second Square of the same house set my men to the felling of Timber, for the were the Wild Beasts, which were either building of a Frigat, which I had left half presents to Montezuma, or taken by his finished at Point Comfort, the 19th of March: hunters, in strong Cages of Timber, rang’d and returned myself with the ship into Pemin good Order, and under Cover: Lions, Ty- brook Potomac River, and so discovered to gers, Bears, and all others of the savage the head of it, which is about 65 leagues into Kind which New-Spain produced; among the land, and navigable for any ship. And which the greatest Rarity was the Mexican then marching into the Countrie, I found Bull; a wonderful composition of divers great store of cattle as big as Kine, of which Animals. It has crooked Shoulders, with a the Indians that were my guides killed a Bunch on its Back like a Camel; its Flanks couple, which we found to be very good and dry, its Tail large, and its Neck cover'd wholesome meat, and are very easy to be with Hair like a Lion. It is cloven-footed, killed, in regard they are heavy, slow, and its Head armed like that of a Bull, which it not so wild as other beasts of the wilderresembles in Fierceness, with no less nesse." strength and Agility.”

"It is to be regretted," says Hornaday, to But this was at least 300 miles from the whom I am indebted for these extracts, proper range of the Bison; as a wild animal “that the narrative of the explorer affords it was yet to be discovered. The discovery no clew to the precise locality of this intertook place nine years later, and again the esting discovery, but since it is doubtful that honor fell to a Spaniard. In 1530 Alvar the mariners journeyed very far on foot Muñez Cabeza de Vaca was wrecked on the from the head of navigation of the Potomac, Gulf coast. Travelling inland to what is it seems highly probable that the first Amernow South-eastern Texas, he met with the ican Bison seen by Europeans, other than

Copyright, 1906, by Charles Scribner's Sons. All rights reserved.

VOL. XL.-42


the Spaniards, was found within 15 miles, The total area inhabited by the Buffalo or even less, of the capital of the United was about 3,000,000 square miles. Of this, States, and possibly within the District of the open plains were one-half. According Columbia itself.” From this time the region to figures supplied me by Mr. A. F. Potter, of the Buffalo was more often visited, and of the Forest Service, the ranges of the Dathe explorer gave frequent description of kotas, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kanthe great beast and its numbers. *

sas, Colorado, Texas, and Oklahoma (a toThe earliest portrait I can find is given in tal of about 750,000 square miles, or half of Gomara, 1553. It is reproduced, full size, on the plains) were, according to the census of page 405. This was evidently drawn from 1900, carrying 24,000,000 head of cattle and the imaginative de

horses and about 6,scription of the discov

000,000 head of sheep. erer, and while corre

This means that when sponding line for line

fully stocked they with the text,'which cor

might sustain a number responds line for line

of Buffalo at least equal with the animal, it pre

to the number of cattle sents, in the language of

and horses. The Bufthe times, “a mon

falo had to divide their strous beast” indeed.

heritage with numerous

herds of mustang, anThe Buffalo is the

telope, and wapiti; on bulkiest living land

the other hand, a Bufanimal native to North

falo could find a living America. A full-grown

where a range animal Buffalo bull stands

would starve, many of about 5 feet 8 or

the richest bottominches at the shoulder

lands are now fenced and weighs about 1,800

in, and we have taken pounds. But specimens

no account of the 6,of over 6 feet at the

000,000 sheep. Therewithers have been re

fore we are safe in placcorded, and Mr. Horn

ing at 40,000,000 the aday tells me that he

Buffalo formerly living weighed a living bull at

on the entire plains 2,190 pounds. A full

Head of big bull. grown Cow stands In collection of A. Gottschalck (33'5-inch spread of horns).

Their prairie range about 4 feet 8 at the

was a third as large, shoulders, and according to Audubon weighs but it was vastly more fertile; indeed, the about 1,200 pounds, though Henry says sel- stockmen reckon one prairie acre equal to dom over 700 or 800 pounds. The lower four acres on the plains. Doubtless, thereweight seems to be nearer the average run, fore, the prairies sustained nearly as many but I have seen cows that stood as high and head as the plains; we may safely set their looked as heavy as ordinary bulls. population at 30,000,000. The forest re

gion was the lowest in the rate of populaThe early explorers who describe the Buf- tion; for its 1,000,000 square miles we should falo numbers do not give us anything more not allow more than 5,000,000 Buffalo. exact than superlative expressions, such as These figures would make the primitive “countless herds," "incredible numbers, number of Buffalo 75,000,000. “teeming myriads,” “the world one robe," Many other calculations based on differetc. I have endeavored to get at a more ent data give similar or slightly lower exact idea of their numbers.

totals. From these facts it will appear

very safe to put the primitive Buffalo pop*These facts are largely drawn from two standard sources: ulation at 50,000,000 to 60,000,000.* Mr. W. T. Hornaday's "Extermination of the American Bison" (1889) and Dr. J. A. Allen's “American Bisons" (1876). The map of range also, on page 397, is compiled *Several authorities, including Mr. Charles Payne and chiefly from those published by these authorities.

Col. Jones, make their estimates double mine.



« EelmineJätka »