KARL THEODOR VON PILOTY 1826-1886 Munich School of Germany
MARIANO FORTUNY 1838-1874 Spanish-Parisian School
IN the Spanish Marriage there is a profusion of beautiful detail to gladden the eye; in the canvas by Piloty, a great deal to stimulate our appetite for historical incidents. We already feel a curiosity to become acquainted with this particular one; we reach for a history to discover who these people are and how they happen to find themselves in the circumstances represented; and, having read the story, we shall proceed to search the picture to identify the persons and see how the incident has been portrayed. All of which has, strictly speaking, nothing to do with the appreciation of the painting, as a painting. On the other hand, to appreciate the Spanish Marriage, we need no help from the outside; the incident depicted explains itself. We note the moment selected is the signing of the register; and, having done so, we are free to enjoy without any interruption the brilliant groups of figures and the exquisite delicacy of the rococo screen and the other details of the sacristy; or, if we were facing the original, would step backward, so that the sparkle and luster of its coloring might affect us as a whole.
Further, let us contrast the two pictures from the point