Hinweis: Ihre bisherige Sitzung ist abgelaufen. Sie arbeiten in einer neuen Sitzung weiter.

Studio: international art — 7.1896

Seite: 130
DOI Heft: DOI Artikel: DOI Seite: Zitierlink: i
http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/studio1896a/0144
Lizenz: Creative Commons - Namensnennung - Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen Nutzung / Bestellung
0.5
1 cm
facsimile
The Lay Figure at Home

THE LAY FIGURE AT HOME.
The Lay Figure was entertaining many
friends, who sat drinking tea and doing
their best to keep the conversation
solely to matters pictorial; for the laity believe an
artist is only interested in his particular " shop."
Others were taking stealthy glances at the serving
maids and wondering doubtless if they were potential
Trilbys. " Now tell me how am I to get my house
done up," said a woman in a hat whose vivid
colours made the whole room look shabby and the
pictures shadows of a shade. " I want it to be very
artistic and quite unlike anything ever done before.
You must be able to help me. Artists are always
so full of ideas."

" Perhaps they are," said the Lay Figure. " It
is odd to discover how many fashions start in
studios. I was astonished to read the other day
that Mr. Whistler once dotted Japanese fans over
his walls and ceilings."

" That was sweet of him," she replied; " and of
course it was all right to dot them about then—but
we know better now, don't we ? "

" —and Mr. Whistler," the Lay Figure went on,
" first painted his walls lemon yellow, and put his
butterfly on them."

"Yes ! " she broke in, impatiently, "but I want
something quite fresh, not like Whistler, or Morris,
or Tadema. It is so distinguished to express one's
own personality in one's surroundings."

" Do you not mean other people's personality ? "
said the Lay Figure, " if you employ their ideas."

" Don't be flippant," she broke in. " Of course
another person may suggest an idea."

" Which any one is certain to ruin in translating
it to shape," the Lay Figure added. "My dear
lady, anybody can have ideas; it is to carry them
through that reveals the artist."

" Still, you might suggest something novel for my
new drawing-room," she said.

"When I do not know its aspect, or its pro-
portions, what furniture you are prepared to discard,
or if you mean to keep the thousand and one
bits of bric-a-brac from your present one."

" Oh ! but every one is absolutely lovely," she
replied. " It is very rude of you to reflect upon my
taste. People always say it is my strongest point."

" Of course ! But if you express your own taste
in bric-a-brac, and another person's in decoration,
won't they clash " ? The Lay Figure paused.

"Really," she said, hastily, "if I am to choose
nothing myself, the room would be hideous. You
know novelists always say it is a woman who gives
the indefinable touch to any room."
130

" I suspect indefinable touches," said the Lay
Figure, calmly; " no touch ought to be applied to a
picture or a piano without definite meaning."

" Preposterous ! " said his companion ; " you are
more priggish than a university extensionist."

" Why buy so many cheap ornaments," it said.

" I do not know what you call cheap," she re-
plied. " I daresay some vases I have, just like
those, cost me a good deal more than you gave.
You artists always pick up things for nothing. I
gave is. nd. for my pair. Confess now that yours
cost half a-crown."

The Lay Figure shivered as it remembered going
without solid meals for a week to buy the little
pots she depreciated so readily. " You see," it
said, " I never believe in economy at any price."

"Nor in politeness either, it appears," she said ;
" but are you going to suggest something ? "

"Well," it replied, " why not go in for stencil-
ling your own pattern upon some simple fabric,
have quite plain walls, hang up a few good etchings
or Japanese colour prints in plain black frames;
pick out the best chairs and tables, and some rugs."

" Thank you so much," she broke in sarcastic-
ally ; " really it is most kind of you to quote the
furnishing handbooks of 1876, or centuries earlier.
I asked for some new ideas—anybody could have
rooms like you are suggesting."

" Then why don't they ? " said the Lay Figure,
with more vigour than courtesy, as he thought of
the charming home of a young and newly married
artist which had been in his mind as he spoke.

" Please don't let us discuss it further," she said,
quite icily. " I will write to one of the ladies'
papers; they are full of pretty notions for new effects,
but I thought you might give me some quite
' striking ideas.'"

" I don't think art is often striking," the Lay
Figure observed meditatively. " A room one lives
in ought not to thrust itself on you; one must dis-
cover its beauties by gradual intimacy-"

" And grow into nice, prim, middle-aged old
fogies before you need," she went on. " Really, you
are not up-to-date at all."

" Is art ever up-to-date ? " the Lay Figure asked.
" I fancied it was only fashion, or folly, that tried
to be. Surely a thing that is beautiful to-day will
be no less beautiful twenty years hence."

" Not unless it knows how to change its fashions
and keep modern," she said. " I don't wonder you
artists admire badly dressed women so often, nor
that you like dowdy rooms. The idea of anything
keeping its beauty for two years, much less
twenty !!! " and she laughed.

The Lay Figuke.
loading ...