Among a huddle of bad and indifferent pictures in the Kunstliefde Museum is a series of four long paintings by Jan van Scorel (whom we met at Rotterdam), representing a band of pilgrims who travelled from Utrecht to Jerusalem in the sixteenth century. Two of these pictures are reproduced on the opposite page, the principal figure in the lower one—in the middle, in white—being Jan van Scorel himself. The faces are all such as one can believe in; just so, we feel, did the pilgrims look, and what a thousand pities there was no Jan van Scorel to accompany Chaucer! These are the best pictures in Utrecht, which cannot have any great interest in art or it would not allow that tramway through its bell tower. In the reproduction the faces necessarily become very small, but they are still full of character, and one may see the sympathetic hand of a master in all.
Jan van Scorel was only a settler in Utrecht; the most illustrious citizen to whom it gave birth was Paulus Moreelse, but the city has, I think, only one of his pictures, and that not his best. He was born in 1571, and he died at Utrecht in 1638. His portraits are very rich: either he had interesting sitters or he imparted interest to them. Opposite page 40 I have reproduced his portrait of a lady in the Ryks Museum at Amsterdam, which amongst so many fine pictures one may perhaps at the outset treat with too little ceremony, but which undoubtedly will assert itself. It is a picture that, as we say, grows on one: the Unknown Lady becomes more and more mischievous, more and more necessary.
The little Archiepiscopal Museum at Utrecht is as small—or as large—as a museum should be: one can see it comfortably. It has many treasures, all ecclesiastical, and seventy different kinds of lace; but to me it is memorable for the panel portrait of a woman by Jan van Scorel, a very sweet sedate face, beautifully painted, which one would like to coax into a less religious mood.
Utrecht is very proud of a wide avenue of lime trees—a triple avenue, as one often sees in Holland—called the Maliebaan; but more beautiful are the semi-circular Oude and Nieuwe Grachts, with their moat-like canals laving the walls of serene dignified houses, each gained by its own bridge.