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HUYSMANS, J. K.—HWANG HO

Seldom attempting anything but woodside views with fancy backgrounds, half Italian, half Flemish, he painted with great facility, and left numerous examples behind. At the outset of his career he practised at Malines, where he married in 1682, and there too he entered into some business connexion with van der Meulen, for whom he painted some backgrounds. In 1706 he withdrew to Antwerp, where he resided till 1717, returning then to Malines, where he died on the 1st of June 1727.

Though most of his pictures were composed for cabinets rather than churches, he sometimes emulated van Artois in the production of large sacred pieces, and for many years his “Christ on the Road to Emmaus” adorned the choir of Notre Dame of Malines. In the gallery of Nantes, where three of his small landscapes are preserved, there hangs an “Investment of Luxembourg,” by van der Meulen, of which he is known to have laid in the background. The national galleries of London and Edinburgh contain each one example of his skill. Blenheim, too, and other private galleries in England, possess one or more of his pictures. But most of his works are on the European continent.


HUYSMANS, JORIS KARL (1848–1907), French novelist, was born at Paris on the 5th of February 1848. He belonged to a family of artists of Dutch extraction; he entered the ministry of the interior, and was pensioned after thirty years service. His earliest venture in literature, Le Drageoir à épices (1874), contained stories and short prose poems showing the influence of Baudelaire. Marthe (1876), the life of a courtesan, was published in Brussels, and Huysmans contributed a story, “Sac au dos,” to Les Soirées de Médan, the collection of stories of the Franco-German war published by Zola. He then produced a series of novels of everyday life, including Les Sœurs Vatard (1879), En Ménage (1881), and À vau-l'eau (1882), in which he outdid Zola in minute and uncompromising realism. He was influenced, however, more directly by Flaubert and the brothers de Goncourt than by Zola. In L'Art moderne (1883) he gave a careful study of impressionism and in Certains (1889) a series of studies of contemporary artists. À Rebours (1884), the history of the morbid tastes of a decadent aristocrat, des Esseintes, created a literary sensation, its caricature of literary and artistic symbolism covering much of the real beliefs of the leaders of the aesthetic revolt. In Là-Bas Huysmans's most characteristic hero, Durtal, makes his appearance. Durtal is occupied in writing the life of Gilles de Rais; the insight he gains into Satanism is supplemented by modern Parisian students of the black art; but already there are signs of a leaning to religion in the sympathetic figures of the religious bell-ringer of Saint Sulpice and his wife. En Route (1895) relates the strange conversion of Durtal to mysticism and Catholicism in his retreat to La Trappe. In La Cathédrale (1898), Huysmans's symbolistic interpretation of the cathedral of Chartres, he develops his enthusiasm for the purity of Catholic ritual. The life of Sainte Lydwine de Schiedam (1901), an exposition of the value of suffering, gives further proof of his conversion; and L'Oblat (1903) describes Durtal's retreat to the Val des Saints, where he is attached as an oblate to a Benedictine monastery. Huysmans was nominated by Edmond de Goncourt as a member of the Académie des Goncourt. He died as a devout Catholic, after a long illness of cancer in the palate on the 13th of May 1907. Before his death he destroyed his unpublished MSS. His last book was Les Foules de Lourdes (1906).

See Arthur Symons, Studies in two Literatures (1897) and The

Symbolist Movement in Literature (1899); Jean Lionnet in L'Évolution des idées (1903); Eugène Gilbert in France et Belgique (1905);

J. Sargeret in Les Grands convertis (1906).


HUYSUM, JAN VAN (1682–1749), Dutch painter, was born at Amsterdam in 1682, and died in his native city on the 8th of February 1749. He was the son of Justus van Huysum, who is said to have been expeditious in decorating doorways, screens and vases. A picture by this artist is preserved in the gallery of Brunswick, representing Orpheus and the Beasts in a wooded landscape, and here we have some explanation of his son's fondness for landscapes of a conventional and Arcadian kind; for Jan van Huysum, though skilled as a painter of still life, believed himself to possess the genius of a landscape painter. Half his pictures in public galleries are landscapes, views of imaginary lakes and harbours with impossible ruins and classic edifices, and woods of tall and motionless trees—the whole very glossy and smooth, and entirely lifeless. The earliest dated work of this kind is that of 1717, in the Louvre, a grove with maidens culling flowers near a tomb, ruins of a portico, and a distant palace on the shores of a lake bounded by mountains.

It is doubtful whether any artist ever surpassed van Huysum in representing fruit and flowers. It has been said that his fruit has no savour and his flowers have no perfume—in other words, that they are hard and artificial—but this is scarcely true. In substance fruit and flower are delicate and finished imitations of nature in its more subtle varieties of matter. The fruit has an incomparable blush of down, the flowers have a perfect delicacy of tissue. Van Huysum, too, shows supreme art in relieving flowers of various colours against each other, and often against a light and transparent background. He is always bright, sometimes even gaudy. Great taste and much grace and elegance are apparent in the arrangement of bouquets and fruit in vases adorned with bas reliefs or in baskets on marble tables. There is exquisite and faultless finish everywhere. But what van Huysum has not is the breadth, the bold effectiveness, and the depth of thought of de Heem, from whom he descends through Abraham Mignon.

Some of the finest of van Huysum's fruit and flower pieces have

been in English private collections: those of 1723 in the earl of Ellesmere's gallery, others of 1730–1732 in the collections of Hope and Ashburton. One of the best examples is now in the National Gallery (1736–1737). No public museum has finer and more numerous specimens than the Louvre, which boasts of four landscapes and six panels with still life; then come Berlin and Amsterdam with four fruit and flower pieces; then St Petersburg, Munich, Hanover,

Dresden, the Hague, Brunswick, Vienna, Carlsruhe and Copenhagen.


HWANG HO [Hoang Ho], the second largest river in China. It is known to foreigners as the Yellow river—a name which is a literal translation of the Chinese. It rises among the Kuenlun mountains in central Asia, its head-waters being in closing proximity to those of the Yangtsze-Kiang. It has a total length of about 2400 m. and drains an area of approximately 400,000 sq. m. The main stream has its source in two lakes named Tsaring-nor and Oring-nor, lying about 35° N., 97° E., and after flowing with a south-easterly course it bends sharply to the north-west and north, entering China in the province of Kansuh in lat. 36°. After passing Lanchow-fu, the capital of this province, the river takes an immense sweep to the north and north-east, until it encounters the rugged barrier ranges that here run north and south through the provinces of Shansi and Chihli. By these ranges it is forced due south for 500 m., forming the boundary between the provinces of Shansi and Shensi, until it finds an outlet eastwards at Tung Kwan—a pass which for centuries has been renowned as the gate of Asia, being indeed the sole commercial passage between central China and the West. At Tung Kwan the river is joined by its only considerable affluent in China proper, the Wei (Wei-ho), which drains the large province of Shensi, and the combined volume of water continues its way at first east and then north-east across the great plain to the sea. At low water in the winter season the discharge is only about 36,000 cub. ft. per second, whereas during the summer flood it reaches 116,000 ft. or more. The amount of sediment carried down is very large, though no accurate observations have been made. In the account of Lord Macartney's embassy, which crossed the Yellow river in 1792, it was calculated to be 17,520 million cub. ft. a year, but this is considered very much over the mark. Two reasons, however, combine to render it probable that the sedimentary matter is very large in proportion to the volume of water: the first being the great fall, and the consequently rapid current over two-thirds of the river's course; the second that the drainage area is nearly all covered with deposits of loess, which, being very friable, readily gives way before the rainfall and is washed down in large quantity. The ubiquity of this loess or yellow earth, as the Chinese call it, has in fact given its name both to the river which carries it in solution and to the sea (the Yellow Sea) into which it is discharged. It is calculated