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Studio: international art — 12.1898

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http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/studio1898/0108
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facsimile
Early Scandinavian 11 ood-i arvings

part, sonic reference should be made. It has been
said, and I have no doubt that it is a fact, that a
shepherd knows every sheep entrusted to his care
by sonic peculiarity of shape or expression, not
always obvious to the ordinary eye. So fine an
intimacy with beasts is not demanded of the
painter, especially of the pastoral painter. Of him
we only require that he should make a statement of
the animals that is equal to our own impression of
them in nature, when our attention is being en-
grossed by other matters besides sheep, such as
trees, sky, and water. In giving to each individual
sheep its right importance as a member of a flock,
and the flock its right importance in the landscape,
Estall certainly excels; there is perhaps no other
painter besides Mauve who has had in him de-
veloped to such an extent the faculty for expressing
truthfully and artistically a large concourse of sheep.
It is for this reason that I have especially referred to
Estall as a painter of sheep, although in his pictures
other sorts of beasts are naturally to be found, and
I have never seen any that were not expressed in
an adequate and dignified manner.

Except for what he owes to the splendid ex-
ample of Corot, Estall is responsible for his own
creation as an artist. He certainly did spend
some time abroad, where many a promising and
individual method of painting has been exchanged
by English artists for a style more workmanlike,
albeit far less interesting, but he brought back with
him the artistic views and ways of painting that he
took from home, developed, perhaps, but otherwise
unaltered. What he is doing now7 he has always
tried to do ; so his history, although in a way un-
eventful, has at all events no pages in it that he
would prefer unread.

I would that it were here possible to reproduce
at least one of Estall's pictures adequately in colour,
tor though these reproductions give some idea of
their compositions, yet so great an effect is created
by the artist by the use of colour, so much does
he add to the ornamental value of his picture by
his gem-like accents and combinations of strong-
rich tones, and so much of their poetical feeling is
derived from these tones, that a far less fair idea
of the beauty of Estall's pictures than of most
artists can be given in merely black and white. I
cannot believe that anybody knowing Estall's art
does not admire it. His distinguished and elegant
style, his imaginative technique and colouring, his
sympathetic choice of motives, must be appreciated
wherever his pictures have found their way among
understanding people. It is, therefore, to those
who are unacquainted with his work—and they
82

must be many, for artistic work of this kind gains
notoriety very slowly - that these remarks about
his art are addressed. Estall's are not the pictures
to assert themselves stridently on the walls of the
Royal Academy, nor, as they are utterly wanting in
sensational incident, would they appeal to the
editor of an illustrated paper for reproduction in
his pages ; but they are poems that would brighten
the life of any person who is able to comprehend
and possess them. With these statements I think
there is no reason for explaining why Estall is not
known to a far greater number of picture lovers,
nor is an apology necessary for an attempt to
arouse the curiosity of those who, if once attracted
to Estall's work, would be sure to find in it an
unfailing source of delight.

Arthur Tomson.

EARLY SCANDINAVIAN
WOOD-CARVINGS. PART II.
BY J. ROM ILLY ALLEN, F.S.A.
In a previous article on this subject,
which appeared in The Studio for February [897
attention was directed to the beautifully carved
wooden ecclesiastical chairs existing in Norway and
Iceland, either still in the churches, where they
were used for ceremonial purposes, or removed to
the museums at Copenhagen, Christiania, and
Bergen as archaeological specimens. We will now
proceed to examine some of the decorative carving
to be found on the structural details of the older
Scandinavian timber churches.

Readers of The Studio who live in or near
London need not cross the North Sea in order to
get an idea of what the construction of a church of
this kind is like, for within twenty-two miles of
Charing Cross, at Greensted in Essex,* is a very
perfect instance—the sole one now7 surviving—of a
type of wooden building which was probably as
common in the Eastern Counties, perhaps for two
or three centuries after the Viking invasions of
England as it is now in Norway. The peculiarity
of the construction of the walls, both of Greensted
Church and of the Norse churches, is that, instead
of being built with timbers placed horizontally, as
in a log hut, they are placed vertically and morticed
into a sill-plate at the lower ends, and into a wall
plate at the top. At Greensted the timbers are
left in their natural state on the' outside with the
rounded part of the trunk of the tree visible, but
on the inside they are dressed Hat. The timbers
are tongued and grooved to keep them together

* One mile S. W. of (Jngar railway station.
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