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Studio: international art — 3.1894

Seite: 124
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http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/studio1894a/0140
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From Gallery, Studio, and Mart

of art. And even in the face of architecture,
arts of which the theme is man and the myriad-
mooded aspects of the outer world stand un-
ashamed ; even among the children of Ictinus
and of Robert de Luzarches, of Brunellescho,
and of Wren, the sons of Phidias, of Michael
Angelo, and of Donatello, and the disciples
of Raphael or Titian, of Rembrandt or of Rey-
nolds, decline to strike or vail their colours.
In early mediaeval days when the building was
the book, the open volume on which alone
could be read by an unlettered people the truths
of faith and that little which was then the sum of
knowledge, in the days before the printing-press
had shorn architecture of half its phonetic function,
some such contention on its behalf was, no doubt,
tenable ; but in more modern times great changes
have come over art, and notably over painting,
which, without abdicating its severer and more
restrained function in connection with architecture,
or its more monumental and idealistic develop-
ments, has explored and occupied whole regions
of new emotional and imaginative suggestion—the
realm of mysterious and alluring glooms wherein
Rembrandt is king, and all the witching range of
the fugitive and fitful lights which flit and flame
and faint across the fair face of the sea and of the
land in which your own Turner conjures without
a peer. In these its phases the painter's art is
self-centred and unbeholden. But, whilst in days
in which narrow isolation is repudiated by archi-
tecture some of her sons invite the sister arts to
what is but a gilded vassalage, we see, on the other
hand, less seldom than I could wish, a tendeney
to fly to an opposite extreme ; a tendency to instal
the picturesque in a position of perilous promi-
nence, to forget that in this masculine builder's art
every portion of every work should form part of an
organic, logically-developed whole, springing from
or grafted on certain material, conditioning require-
ments scientifically grasped; a tendency to work
from the surface, and even in extreme cases to
mistake for the exercise of a virile and logical
art a mere sprinkling of ornament, broadcast
and haphazard, over a perhaps confused and
incoherent structure. The beauty of a truly noble
building should be, indeed, as the inner soul
breathing out of it and made manifest, not as a
fair mask to be assumed or laid aside at will; and
these results will be achieved by those to whom the
gift is given, through the strengthening within them
of the aesthetic sense, so that it may flow out on to
and permeate the work from the outset, and use
and decorum may thus walk hand in hand to their
124

mutual enhancement. Now, this sharpened sense
of beauty—I use the word in its widest sense—is
the stamp and hall-mark of the artist, whether he
build, carve, or paint; and as the labours of the
painter and the sculptor are in their nature un-
trammelled by considerations of the useful and the
necessary, intercourse with the followers of the
purely graphic arts is of great profit, and strengthen-
ing to those whose paths are less free and their
shackles more numerous. But whilst in that fruit-
ful intercourse architecture may gain a heightened
charm and a warmer and more supple life, how
great is the service that she may in her turn, if
rightly consulted, confer on the other arts. For
where better than in her best and purest works can
the painter and sculptor learn the great and needed
lessons of wise restraint, of noble reticence, of
strength controlled, and of ornament made doubly
precious by sober use. Of a truth these three arts
may draw ever-increasing strength and power from
closer communion of spirit among their several
votaries, and it is as a symbol of that growing com-
munion that even those who may least deem me
worthy of it may yet, I think, welcome the honour
for which I have risen to express my warm, respect-
ful, and most unfeigned thanks.

F^ROM GALLERY, STUDIO, AND
, MART. WITH ILLUSTRATIONS.
At the Caxton Head, Holborn, a pe-
culiarly interesting exhibition of artistic
bookbinding deserves more detailed description
than our space permits. Mr. Tregaskis some few
months ago sent out seventy-five copies of Mr.
William Morris's Kelmscott edition oi King Florus
to binders in all parts of the world; not merely in
the ordinary centres of civilisation, but in remote
districts. The majority of the books received
showed consummate excellence in manipulation ;
indeed, the bindings of France and Italy were in
several instances almost too coldly perfect.

The variety of materials employed included all
legitimate coverings, and not a few chiefly accept-
able as curiosities. Of these the Canadian buck-
skin, with its moccasin tag of beadwork and ermine
tips, and a brown bamboo case from Yokohama,
may be instanced as typical specimens. A gor-
geous piece of Madras work in gold embroidery, a
Cingalese silver-mounted cover, a Burmese binding
of carved and pierced wood, with somewhat coarsely
worked "Koran" binding, belong to this section,
of " the rather unusual."
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