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Studio: international art — 14.1898

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Reviews of Recent Publications

eluded its series of little winter displays by an exhi-
bition of recent work by M. F. Courtens, the land-
scapist, together with various copies, after painters
of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, done in
Italy by M. Guffens. These copies are conscien-
tiously painted, while the landscapes show their
author’s habitual strength and solidity. This inter-
esting exhibition, good as it was, scarcely sufficed,
however, to atone for some of its predecessors in
the same galleries during the past few months—-
displays of the “ trade ” or “ amateur ” description.
It is to be hoped that rigorous measures may be
taken to put a stop to this abuse.

F. K.

REVIEWS OF RECENT
PUBLICATIONS.

The “ Builder ” Album of Royal Academy Archi-
tecture, i8gy. (London : Offices of “ The Builder.”)
—This handsome volume serves as a reminder of
the melancholy loneliness which has ever been the
distinguishing feature of the room devoted to
architectural drawings at the annual exhibition of
the Royal Academy. A glance through its pages
will serve to suggest at least one of the reasons for
the pertinacity with which the average Academy
visitor refuses to give more than a perfunctory
glance round the tiny cell devoted by the Burling-
ton House authorities in their wisdom to the dis-
play of these graphic presentments of “The
greatest of all the Arts,” as by its votaries it is not
unfairly designated. The painter and the sculptor
can show us at each exhibition the actual mani-
festation of their artistic skill in creative handiwork ;
the architect, on the contrary, has to indicate in
the most halting of fashions the nature and scope
of his work by means of sketches and drawings,
which, as this volume serves to show, very often
verge on the absolutely contemptible from a purely
technical point of view. It is true that year by
year shows us a distinct advance in architectural
draughtsmanship, but, taken at their best, these
delineations, whether through the medium of line
or wash drawings, are unsatisfactory to a degree.
Some of them, indeed, are absolutely painful in
their niggling paltriness, while all of them are
marred by the attempt to unite mechanical exacti-
tude of detail with artistic breadth of vision. Among
the more satisfactory pen drawings may be in-
stanced Mr. A. M. Prentice’s perspective view of
a Presbyterian College at Cambridge, of which Mr.
Hare is the architect, and Mr. T. Raffles Davison’s
drawing of Mr. Aston Webb’s Additions to Baddoch-

hurst, Sussex. Among the wash drawings there
are none which call for particular remark, unless-
it be those excellent studies of early Italian work
contributed by Mr. Arthur E. Henderson. Neither
Mr. Wilson nor Mr. Harrison Townsend, whose
studies in colour formed such notable features of
the exhibition of the previous year, are repre-
sented in the album at present under considera-
tion.

Historic Ornament. By James Ward. (Lon-
don : Chapman & Hall.)—A few months ago we
reviewed a work bearing the same title by the
same author. This is not a second volume of
that work, but is distinct in itself, and bears two-
gold stars on the back to differentiate it from the
other. It treats upon ornament as illustrated in
furniture, pottery, enamels, ivories, metal work,,
textile fabrics, mosaic, glass, and books. We
cannot commend the purchase of this work to
those who already possess the excellent little South
Kensington handbooks on the same subjects-
issued by the same publishers, as it is but little
more than a condensed account of the matter
with a plentiful supply of the illustrations which
appeared therein. We are at a loss to understand
the raison d'etre of the volume and we are some-
what astonished that the Council of Education-
should permit its publication in the present form.

L'Ajfiche Beige. By A. Demeure de Beau-
mont. (Chez l’auteur, 22 Rue Raymond IV.,
Toulouse.) Price fcs. 8.—The cult of the artistic
poster has nowhere been more successfully pur-
sued than in Belgium. Rassenfosse, H. Meunier,
Donnay, Hannotiau, Berchmans—to mention but
a few of the artists who have executed notable
designs for advertising purposes in that country—
are names which rank among the first designers
of posters in the world. M. Demeure de Beau-
mont’s work is an interesting and appreciative
account of the subject, and the large number of
examples, of which he gives monotint illustrations,
will be found not only useful to collectors, but of
value as a record of work done.

Menus et Program?nes Illustres. By Leon
Maillard. (Paris : G. Boudet.) — This is a
most interesting volume, both from the genuine
“ documental ” nature of the text, and from
the profusion of characteristic specimens of illus-
trated menus and programmes with which its
pages are adorned. Starting from the eighteenth
century—the age of Saint-Aubin, Cochin, Eisen,
and Moreau the younger—and proceeding through
the Revolutionary Epoch, the First Empire, the
Restoration, the reign of Louis Philippe, and the

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