Page:The Bohemian Review, vol1, 1917.djvu/176

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The Bohemian Review

furnish one of her own sons, if she is to win the war in which she is engaged against Germany.

Col. Roosevelt who possesses a clear vision and the courage of his convictions sums up in the Kansas City Star the arguments for war on all the Central Powers in these words: “The world will not and cannot be made safe for democracy until the Armenians, the Syrian Christians and the Arabs are freed from Turkish tyranny, and until the Poles, Bohemians and southern Slavs, now under the Austrian yoke, are made into separate, independent nations, and until the Italians of southwest Austria are restored to Italy and the Roumanians of eastern Hungary to Roumania.

“Unless we propose in good faith to carry out this program, we have been guilty of a rhetorical sham when we pledged ourselves to make the world safe for democracy. The United States must not make promises which it has no intention of performing; we are breaking this promise and incidentally are acting absurdly every day chat we continue a nominal peace with Germany’s fellow tyrants and subject allies, Austria, and Turkey.”

We have hope that when the representatives of the United States return from the Paris conference, President Wilson will go before Congress with the request that a state of war be declared to exist between this country and the allies of Germany.

Fine Arts in Bohemia.

By Dr. J. E. S. Vojan.

After the battle of the White Mountain the Czech artists became dispersed throughout Europe, just as had happened to the precious art collections of Prague. There is one name among them which enjoys world-wide fame. It is Hollar, whose engravings are the pride of all great museums and art collections. The Prague Rudolfinum has a cabinet of Hollar’s works, and this “Hollareum” has now 1,500 numbers, that is to say over a half of his engravings. Before the war the executive commission of the Bohemian Diet appropriated each year a certain sum for the completion of this collection.

Václav Hollar (Holár) of Prácheň, was born in Prague in 1607. A memorial tablet on house No. 1192 in Soukenická Ulice (Clothmakers’ Street) identifies the place of his birth. Although he was a sincere Czech and left his native land for the sake of religion, the Germans do not hesitate to claim him for their compatriot. German monographs on the copper engraver’s art make him a German. See for instance “Der Kupferstich” by Prof. Dr. Hans W. Singer (Leipzig, Velhagen & Klasing, 1904), where on page 56 we read: “Hollar was the only German graphic artist of the seventeenth century of any importance. His work will hold its own next to the work of the Holland and French artists of that day.” Hollar’s life is one of great tragedy. The son of wealthy parents, he was intended for the profession of lawyer. But when after the emperor’s victory his family lost everything, drawing, which had heretofore been young Hollar’s recreation, became the means whereby he earned his living. But his rich talent did not make him rich. He migrated from one country to another, first to Frankfurt in Germany ,then to London; when the English Revolution broke out, he fled to Flanders, then returned to England. Every time his fortunes began to mend, some catastrophe laid him low again; the plague took all his relatives, the great fire of 1668 consumed all his possessions. He worked with a feverish zeal, but the English printsellers took advantage of him, and he died in London in 1677 in the presence of persecuting creditors. The hardships and sufferings cast heavy shadows on all of Hollar’s work. How splendidly would his talent have shined under better circumstances. But though privations kept down the flight of his imagination and gave many of his plates the impression of a struggle for bread, they also increased his industry and fed his determination not to give in to evil fortune or deteriorate from an artist into an artisan. He is one of the great masters of his period with a complete control of the technique of his difficult art. His etchings number about 2,740. Among them are drawings of simple beauty, such as his