Some say he is no
painter. Nothing seems to me so utterly without rule or compass as
this world of art Divided into little cliques, each with his
shibboleth, artists excommunicate each other as heartily as
theologians, and a neophyte who should attempt to make up a judgment
by their help would be obliged to shift opinions with every circle.
I therefore look with my own eyes, for if not the best that might be,
they are the best that God has given me.
Schoeffer is certainly a poet of a high order. His ideas are beautiful
and religious, and his power of expression quite equal to that of many
old masters, who had nothing very particular to express.
I should think his chief danger lay in falling into mannerism, and too
often repeating the same idea. He has a theory of coloring which is in
danger of running out into coldness and poverty of effect. His idea
seems to be, that in the representation of spiritual subjects the
artist should avoid the sensualism of color, and give only the most
chaste and severe tone. Hence he makes much use of white, pale blue,
and cloudy grays, avoiding the gorgeousness of the old masters. But it
seems probable that in the celestial regions there is more, rather
than less, of brilliant coloring than on earth.