No city of its size is more prolific of pictures than Munich. I do not know how all its artists manage to live, but many of them count upon the American public. I hear everywhere that the Americans like this, and do not like that; and I am sorry to say that some artists, who have done better things, paint professedly to suit Americans, and not to express their own conceptions of beauty. There is one who is now quite devoted to dashing off rather lamp-blacky moonlights, because, he says, the Americans fancy that sort of thing. I see one of his smirchy pictures hanging in a shop window, awaiting the advent of the citizen of the United States. I trust that no word of mine will injure the sale of the moonlights. There are some excellent figure-painters here, and one can still buy good modern pictures for reasonable prices.
Was there ever elsewhere such a blue, transparent sky as this here in Munich? At noon, looking up to it from the street, above the gray houses, the color and depth are marvelous. It makes a background for the Grecian art buildings and gateways, that would cheat a risen Athenian who should see it into the belief that he was restored to his beautiful city. The color holds, too, toward sundown, and seems to be poured, like something solid, into the streets of the city.
You should see then the Maximilian Strasse, when the light floods the platz where Maximilian in bronze sits in his chair, illuminates the frescoes on the pediments of the Hof Theater, brightens the Pompeian red under the colonnade of the post-office, and streams down the gay thoroughfare to the trees and statues in front of the National Museum, and into the gold-dusted atmosphere beyond the Isar. The street is filled with promenaders: strangers who saunter along with the red book in one hand,—a man and his wife, the woman dragged reluctantly past the windows of fancy articles, which are “so cheap,” the man breaking his neck to look up at the buildings, especially at the comical heads and figures in stone that stretch out from the little oriel-windows in the highest story of the Four Seasons Hotel, and look down upon the moving throng; Munich bucks in coats of velvet, swinging light canes, and smoking cigars through long and elaborately carved meerschaum holders; Munich ladies in dresses of that inconvenient length that neither sweeps the pavement nor clears it; peasants