Studio: international art — 1.1893

Seite: 55
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1 cm
Coloured Bas-reliefs


much as in the other panels illustrated, we find the matters. For certain abstract laws of beauty, im-
distinct note of to-day, which is needed to dis- possible to formulate, but yet not so elusive as to
tinguish any revival of a half-forgotten art. To escape any trained eye, must needs be observed in
imitate a bygone period in a dull and listless a new departure. The joy in ugliness for its own
manner is hardly worthy serious consideration; but sake is often merely the inevitable and not un-
to adopt just so much of the old style as is worth healthy reaction from a surfeit of pretty but feeble
reviving, and infuse into it the qualities modern art, but, whether in Japanese art or in the last
taste deems essential, is in its way a new creation, modern departure, a new thing is also beautiful, so
This quality is present in the angel heads ; although surely do you find that its originality is not so far
it may not be so apparent in the reproductions as off the few types that have been clothed in new
it is in the originals. In the panels " Harvest" manner with each successive period in art
and " Honeysuckle" no such doubt can exist. The cherubs' heads were designed as part of the
The most casual glance shows them to be modern, decoration of a wooden pulpit. The angels kneel-
and the most patient study fails to show that they ing at either side of a shield, is the highest panel of
are not legitimate in their convention. In line the altar-piece of the Church of St. Clare (R.C.),
or in proportion, or as panel decorations, Liverpool. This reredos has five paintings and
they are sober and scholarly, and withal new. eight coloured panels in relief, the one we illus-
Only those whose business it is to criticise trate being fifteen feet from the ground,
closely the mass of decorative work produced To bring sculpture into harmony with the sur-
to-day, can fully realise the pleasure it is to a roundings of modern life is a worthy enterprise, and
jaded eye to light upon work that is at once since, as the laws of evolution insist, the natural
original and beautiful. To take up certain forms progression is from small to great, it is perhaps the
and schemes of colour never before used may be most hopeful sign of the art to-day that it does not
originality in one sense, but it is like the originality disdain to consider the lesser branches ; and in
of a mis-spelt word or a falsely-accented classical, medallions, mural tablets, small bronzes, and busts
word—novel only in the sense that people of decoratively treated, is able to depart from the
taste and education have wilfully preferred to models of classic art and the Renaissance, and
follow the most hackneyed precedent in such yet keep faithful to the spirit of the past.

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