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Studio: international art — 23.1901

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Reviews

himself with zeal and fertility of invention to every
branch of art.

Perhaps the best example of his achievement in
decorative art is the well-known Fresque de VAbbaye
des Forgerons a Bdk, in which the spirit and
grace of a beautiful old custom are caught and
expressed with loving care and richness of design
and execution.

Death took him at the moment of his intensest
activity, for he was engaged upon four "cartoons"
for large stained-glass windows destined to adorn
the new Federal Palace, and upon a series of
mosaics for the decoration of the facade of the
National Museum at Zurich. R. M.

BRUSSELS.—The organisers of the last
Salon of the Society of Fine Arts here
have been somewhat roughly handled
by critics and artists alike. And,
indeed, there never was a more incoherent as-
semblage of works of art, and never were hanging
and .arrangement so clumsy and so unsatisfactory.
Interesting works by young painters were simply
sacrificed to considerations of precedent or ex-
pediency—both absolutely foreign to art. For
instance, the honest and luminous landscapes of
M. and Madame Wytsman, the placid interiois of
M. Janssens, and the portraits of MM. G. M.
Stevens and Gouwellos were carelessly "shoved"'
into obscure corners, while M. J. Delvin's vigorous
Combat dFtalons flamands was completely hidden
behind an enormous massive bronze group by
M. J. Lambeaux. Moreover, it was doubtful
wisdom to give a retrospective exhibition of the
work of Ch. Degroux, who died in 1870 ; doubtful,
too, was the choice of the works of Chintreuil
(dead in 1873), °f Jongkind (dead in 1891), and
of several more or less " exotic " portrait-painters,
who are in great favour at the moment in " high
society."

Happily, the exhibition included three admirable
bits of painting by the great Belgian, A. Stevens—
Avant k Spectacle, Tous les Bonhcurs (formerly in
the famous Van Praet Collection), and Souvenirs
et Regrets, this last a marvel of supple handling
and delicacy of nuances, while the Brussels painters,
MM. Courtens, Verhaeren and X. Mellery sent
large selections of their work.

Remarkable among the new sculpture was an
excellent bust of M. Mesdach de ter Kiele, by
220

Ch. Samuel; the patiently-composed bust of the
Archbishop of Malines, by J. Lagae; and the
fanciful decorative busts by MM. J. de Laking
and J. Dillens. The clever architect, M. Hobe',
displayed plans and views of seaside villas.

F. K.

REVIEWS.

I Fio?-etti: Les Petites Fleurs de la Vie du Petit
Pauvre de Jesus Christ, St. Francois d'Assisse.
Translated into French from the original Italian
by Arnold Coffin (Brussels: A. Lefevre).—
This is indeed a charming rendering of the
well-known "Fioretti," or "Little Flowers,"
written in the fourteenth century by a Fran-
ciscan monk who was the friend of St. Francis,
and knew most of the prominent members of hin
Order personally. These fifty-three essays, com-
posed in a naively simple style peculiarly suited to
their subjects, relate various typical incidents of the
lives of St. Francis and his immediate followers,
and they lose nothing of their distinctive aroma in
the admirable translation of Coffin. He is, indeed,
so thoroughly in touch with the time at which they
were written that it is difficult to believe he was
not a contemporary of their author. He preludes
the present volume with a very vivid picture of the
state of religious and political parties in Italy when
St. Francis and St. Dominick founded their Orders,
and brings out with an able hand the reflection in
art of the tendencies of the day. He evidently
loves and appreciates St. Francis as if he were a
personal friend, and he could not have understood
him better, or have entered more entirely into the
spirit of his teaching, if he had been in daily inter-
course with him. To many of the " Fioretti " the
translator has added notes of great value to the
student. For instance, a propos of the " Flower "
describing the chapter held by St. Francis at Santa
Maria Maggiore, at which St. Dominick was present,
and more than 5,000 brethren were added to the
Order, he tells of the way in which the accord then
cemented between the two great leaders of religious
thought is still celebrated in Rome; and to the
essay on the miraculous vine of Rieti he adds the
touching legend of the conversion of Angelo
Tancred in the streets of that town. At the end
of the volume is printed a new translation into
French of the quaint "Song of the Creatures,"
begun by St. Francis at St. Damian and completed
just before his death; and as appendix is added the
Last Testament of the saint in the fine rendering of
Chavin de Malan.
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