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Studio: international art — 3.1894

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Some Paintings by Joseph Crawhall

To what they have acquired they have added much
of themselves. Of Mr. Rothenstein it is perhaps
too soon to speak. So far, in picture and litho-
graph, he has, considering his age, proved himself
an artist of amazing cleverness. Mr. Dudley
Hardy does so much, and does it so well, that he
is already a force to be reckoned with. Following
in the footsteps of Cheret, he has begun by making
the English poster chic and charming, and in this he
is being helped by Mr. Griffenhagen and Mr. Raven
Hill. Mr. Anning Bell has made essays in various
mediums, and all these have been characterised by
a singular charm, a most alluring grace. He is
quite one of the most capable of the garde joyeuse
of modern decorative designers.

It may well be urged that so far these clever
artists, and those who are making similar efforts,
have limited their activities to a narrow field. They
have not attempted to modernise our carpets or to
do anything on an heroic scale. It may be they
will never attempt to do so, but their achieve-
ment, so far as it has gone, is clearly marked.
Instead of a stupid water-colour or one of the
oils of commerce, you may decorate your walls
with admirable and comparatively inexpensive
lithographs by Mr. Shannon and Mr. Rothenstein.
In the matter of the making of the book, a whole
series of welcome changes have been brought
about. Mr. Ricketts and others have made
the cloth cover a thing of beauty; Mr. Beardsley
and a few more have revived the decorated title-
page ; while Mr. Home and Mr. Anning Bell and a
good many others have designed book-plates which
add a new charm to the book in which they are
placed. The poster, as we have seen, is rapidly
becoming artistic. In very nearly all their work, the
artists I have named remain emphatically modern.
They invent and do not revive, and herein lies their
chief interest. It is to be hoped that the change
thus begun may continue. It will be interesting to
see whether more important things than posters and
book-covers can be made both actual and artistic.

Charles Hiatt.

SOME PAINTINGS BY JOSEPH
CRAWHALL, J UN. BY DAVID
MARTIN.
It was quite in keeping with the fitness
of things artistic that the first exhibition of the col-
lected works of Mr. Joseph Crawhall, jun., should
be held in Glasgow. For in this art centre, espe-
cially on the part of those who support the new
movement, much appreciation has been shown for
166

his work. The opportunity of seeing it had hitherto
been far too seldom afforded at our exhibitions,
which have always left both lovers of pictures and
painters anxious for more.

The chief characteristic of his style is a love
for beautiful colour (a fine quality of grey often
being the scheme adopted), combined with master-
ful technical accomplishment. Each tone is re-
markable in its range and harmony, and each spot
of colour, so exquisitely laid down, has a distinct
value in the picture. Again, it is evident that every
wash of the brush reveals a whole world of analysis
both in character and form. In even the smallest
of his sketches, which seemingly appear so slight,
there are always noticeable qualities of colour and
decoration that mark the work as peculiarly inter-
esting and noteworthy to an observer. Mr. Craw-
hall has formed for himself a unique style which
shows an originality of artistic expression alike in
composition and decorative effect. In it there is
no trace of that " still life " feeling too apparent in
water-colour work to-day. It is brimful of vitality,
showing at once the directisn of his method and
his ability to seize the dominant features of his
subject, and carry it through from beginning to end
with perfect symmetry of style and character.

As regards the particular phase or branch of
pictorial art—the artistic record—of animal life,
with which Mr. Crawhall has so far evinced most
sympathy, he occupies a position that few can
equal, one, indeed, which is not easy to approach,
though many are imitating him.

Although most of the artist's work is water-
colours, at times he expresses his impressions by
means of pastel in a most capable and dexterous
manner. In another class of work he is very suc-
cessful, using the pen for his outline, and filling
it in with a wash of colour, a style of treatment
which has a distinct charm of its own. Many of
his small sketches are delightfully epigrammatic ;
as one, for instance, where he indicates a row of
rabbits sitting among corn, hiding from the sports-
man who passes along by the stile without seeing
his game, and others where he gives the impres-
sion of an up-to-date young lady on a racecourse,
or depicts scenes on the hunting-field and incidents
in "horsey" life. Mr. Crawhall is still young,
having been born but little over thirty years since
at Newcastle-on-Tyne. From his boyhood the in-
stinct towards drawing and painting was clearly evi-
dent, more especially his love for sketching animals.
In this he was no doubt inspired by his father, who
was clever with the pencil and an enthusiastic
sportsman. At the beginning of the eighties, in
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