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Studio: international art — 15.1899

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Reviews of Recent Publications

T

HE LATE MR. GLEES ON lovers; and to many readers of The Studio his

WHITE. death in the full tide of his ability will seem a per-

, . . sonal loss. Such a man makes friends all over the

It is not given to many men in these _ , . . . „

& . ,. , , world, for he is a citizen of all countries, and is

days or narrow specialism to take such a , , ,

. . . , r ,, , ... welcome wherever the language of art is under-
position in the art world as that which st00(j

was occupied by Mr. Gleeson White. He exercised

an influence which was extraordinary both in its

persuasiveness and its variety,and his authority made REVIEWS OF RECENT

itself felt in directions as numerous as they were

dissimilar. His death not only removes a man PUBLICATIONS,
of conspicuous importance in artistic circles, but

deprives numerous branches of aesthetic energy of 4 Japanese Collection. Made by M. Tomkin-
their controlling spirit and their active leader. He son. (London : G. Allen.) Two vols. 4to. Price
fostered so many movements and encouraged so 6s.—These handsome and profusely illustrated
many forms of art practice, that he may, without volumes will be welcomed by all lovers of Japanese
exaggeration, be credited with a chief share in the art, and more especially by those who know the
establishing of that broader and saner view of comprehensive character of the collection of which
artistic obligations which has made the latter years they are a descriptive catalogue. But Mr. Tom-
of this century so fruitful in results and so full of kinson has made them not only a worthy record of
promise for the future. The secret of his influence his art treasures but also a work of practical utility
is to be found in the astonishing wideness of his and value to his fellow-collectors. One of its
knowledge, and in the amazing energy with which especial features is that each section of the cata-
he entered into all those efforts which seemed iogue is prefaced by an introduction dealing with
likely to be legitimately productive. An expert he the class of objects about to be described, and
was in the truest sense, a worker who tested by these are for the most part signed by writers whose
actual experiment every detail on which he had to names are a guarantee to students of Japanese art
express an opinion, and an observer who habitually of the value of their contributions. Professor W.
watched and analysed the activity around him, esti- Anderson treats of kakemono ; Professor Church,
mating acutely its exact significance, and separat- of tsuba; Mr. Gowland, of metal-work; Mr. E.
ing instinctively what was really valuable from the Gilbertson, of inro, while in addition to other
attractive but unimportant trivialities. Concerning matters Mr. Tomkinson furnishes an excellent
all branches of applied art, and many forms of account of lacquer-work. The examples of signa-
handicraft, he wrote exhaustively, bringing always tures, nearly 1200 in number, arranged under their
to bear upon his subject the light of ever-growing several heads of inro - makers, netsuke - carvers,
experience; and the decorative movement, with its lacquerers, &c, will be duly appreciated by col-
vast possibilities of advantage to the younger artists lectors, for, instead of being merely renderings of
of our school, found in him its most eloquent advo- the name in the square characters one only meets
cate. His own work in design was admirable in its with in printing, they are copied from the objects
elegance and strength, and in one section of it, that themselves. We have therefore a sort of autograph
of book-cover designing, he may be held to have record of the manner in which the artist signed his
set a fashion which has since become almost uni- work, and they include the most complete series of
versal. From no quarter could a deeply sincere kakihan or seals of the Kajikawas with which we
tribute to his memory come more appropriately are acquainted, these being almost our sole means
than from The Studio. The value of his collabo- of distinguishing the signatures of the various
ration in the many measures by which this magazine members of that family.

has been developed, of his services as its first Another useful portion of the work is the die-
editor, and of his constant comments in its pages on tionary of proper names, myths, and legends
those current topics of the art world the meaning referred to in the descriptions, and to this is added
of which he was so well qualified to explain, claims a glossary of the Japanese terms used in the work,
all possible acknowledgment. The versatility and so that, quite independent of its character as a
comprehensive knowledge which distinguished him descriptive catalogue and as a collection of beauti-
have been exhibited here month by month in ways ful illustrations, it is undoubtedly a valuable and
well fitted to appeal to the widest circle of art useful addition to the literature of Japanese art.

141
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