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Studio: international art — 14.1898

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Reviews of Recent Publications

The Memories Comforting Sorrow. The Memories
take the forms of young women in different pos-
tures of grief, resignation, and hope, and Sorrow
appears in the guise of a veiled woman almost
succumbing under her load of pain.

E. T.

The Japanese flower arrangements illustrated on
the preceding page consist of a group of thirteen
branches of lilac in an open bronze vase, and a
combination of rush and gladiolus in an octagonal
flat bronze vase. We are indebted to the courtesy
of Mr. S. Eida for the loan of the vases.

REVIEWS OF RECENT
PUBLICATIONS.

Millais and his Works. By M. H. Spielmann.
(London and Edinburgh: William Blackwood &
Sons. 1S98.)—Although this book is stated, on the
title-page, to have been published “with special
reference to the exhibition at the Royal Academy,
1898,” it is a good deal more than a mere guide to
the winter show at Burlington House. In compil-
ing it Mr. Spielmann has taken no little pains to
make his record of the life and work of the late
President as complete as possible, and to gather
together all those details about his career which
are of interest to every student of the art history of
our times. A biographical sketch written largely
from intimate personal knowledge, and full of
happy descriptive and explanatory matter, occu-
pies a considerable number of pages ; and another
large section is devoted to notes on the pictures
shown last winter at the Academy, and on many
others which were not then exhibited. A most
useful chronological list of the artist’s oil paintings
is appended, as well as a record of the pictures
which have appeared in the sale room, with the
prices obtained for them. A particularly interest-
ing feature is a chapter, “ Thoughts on our Art of
To-day,” which was written some years ago by the
artist himself. Altogether the book deserves high
praise as a handy and convenient summary of in-
formation that is of the utmost value to the art
historian. Its attractiveness is increased by the
introduction of thirty-three illustrations after some
of Sir John’s most important pictures.

English Portraits: A Series of Lithographed
Drawings by Will Rothenstein. (London:
Grant Richards. 1898.)—Mr. Rothenstein has
made a certain reputation as a young artist of
rather eccentric originality with a capacity for
attempting the unexpected. In producing this
volume of twenty-four drawings he has set himself
214

a task to which he is not entirely suited. His
talents scarcely lie in the direction of portraiture
and his power as a draughtsman is hardly great
enough to permit him to render in a few touches
delicate details of personal character. As like-
nesses of the people whose names are appended
to them, many of these drawings must be pro-
nounced frank failures, and none of them can be
said to have any vivid personality. As exercises
in lithography, however, they are more acceptable.
Mr. Rothenstein is subtle and delicate in his use
of line, and understands much of the possibilities
of the medium he has adopted. If he could have
gained the same degree of success in realising his
sitters as he has in making attractive lithographs,
the importance of his book would have been
considerable.

Mother Goose in Prose. By L. Frank Baum.
Pictures by Maxfield Parrish. (Chicago: Way
and Williams.)—At a time when experiments in the
technique of black-and-white for process-repro-
duction seem almost exhausted, it is pleasant to
meet with a distinctly novel combination of line
and tone well mastered. Mr. Parrish uses pure
line, added tints (such as those applied by the
process-engraver from Day’s shading medium),
and a chalk-like grain which may result from
using a thin paper over various textures laid
beneath, to impart for the moment granulation in
varying degrees of coarseness. Whatever the mix-
ture of methods, they are well mixed, and the
mastery is assured. Considered solely as designs,
they show distinct novelty of conception and a
rare sense of humour. The study of “ Old King
Cole ” on his throne, of the “ Wondrous Wise
Man ” by his bookshelf, of “ The Little Man ”
with his gun, of “ Humpty Dumpty,” or of
“ Three Men of Gotham,” would any one of them
prove this beyond all possible doubt. Amid the
extraordinary torrent of so-called decorative illus-
trations to fairy tales, not a few devoid of drawing,
and the greater part destitute of fun, it is a
pleasure to meet with these, which, without any
wish to award them the injustice of over-praise,
are distinctly admirable. If all are not up to the
same level it is of little consequence, because the
artist has obviously tried many experiments, some
of which have naturally succeeded better than
others. At a time when imitation, unconscious but
faithful, and imitation wilful and poorly disguised,
confront us in all the decorative arts, one is inclined
more than ever to applaud the artist, whatever be
his calibre, who dares to express himself in his own
way. Indeed, it seems daily more and more pro-
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