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Studio: international art — 26.1902

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Reviews

" individuality of expression," or whatever catch
phrase is momentarily fashionable, but their dis-
tinguishing characteristics are so generally apparent
that only their mutual similarity strikes one. This
is most in evidence in Germany, where it is the
custom to send collections of pictures circulating
from one town to another, where they remain on
exhibition for about a month, to be succeeded by
others.

The unmistakable tendency of industrial life
towards organised combination seems to have
affected the economic views of the painters, and
they are often so empty of capacity, so-deficient in
study, thought or training, that one fails to discover
what pyscho-aesthetic impulse urged them to paint.

In this exhibition, the only really bad produc-
tions are by a number of Berlin painters, crude in
conception, and affecting a sincerity and naivete
palpably insincere. We all agree that painters are
not mere scientists who tabulate bald facts, but we
do ask for personal impressions and sense of
definite facts, and we want these, too, through the
trained brain, eye, and hand of the craftsman. If
he can feel, select, and omit, we get an artist; for
"artistic sight is judicious blindness," as my friend
Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote.

Here, among these French painters, it is a joy to
feel their blindness towards the non-essential; from
the plastic painting of Beyle to the impressions of
Claude Monet, from the solemnity of Bonnat to
the decorative sparkle of Carrier Belleuse,
from Raffaelli's gay sketchy Parisian boulevard
scenes to Burnand's religious pieces, there runs the
same thread of technical finish and power of
selection. Henner's nudes, with greenish flesh
tones, hang side by side with Royer's extremely
modern dreamy figures, and by Hornecker's
Rembrandt-like heads. There is no jarring here;
each convinces by the certainty and directness of
his brushwork; the painter accomplishes just what
he had in mind; there is no suggestion of change
of purpose in the middle of the work, no fumbling,
no uncertainty; they delight by their virtuosity.
You are unconscious of the art through its
excellence, and "summa ars est celare artem"; it is
only inferior art which lays itself out to be admired.

F. B.

REVIEWS.

Zeitschrift fur Bauwesen. Parts 10 to 12.
(Berlin : Wilhelm Ernst & Sohn.)—Parts 10 to 12
312

of this well-known German Architectural Serial
contains the second and concluding part of Herr
Muthesius' monograph devoted to the considera-
tion of the treatment in England of the Noncon-
formist church or chapel. He illustrates his—on
the whole—appreciative criticism by plans and
views of churches fairly well known to most of us,
such as Mr. Cubitt's Union Chapel, Islington, and
Mr. Waterhouse's Weigh House Chapel, Duke
Street. The former of these, which, like many
illustrated by Herr Muthesius—such for example,
as Christ Church, Westminster Bridge Road—
seems to have set itself to look as Anglican as cir-
cumstances of a Nonconformist mode of worship
or ritual allow, and the latter—a rather gaunt and
cheerless oval hall, but with a remarkably clever
plan—stands in indifferent comparison with Mr.
J. W. Simpson's Union Chapel, Brighton—a design
no less large in conception and treatment than in
actual scale. Herr Muthesius, whom Studio
readers may remember to have been referred to
before as the technical and architectural expert
attached to the German Embassy, illustrates the
national capacity for getting at the essentials of a
subject put before him for study. He quite appre-
ciates those minutiae of doctrinal and ritual differ-
ences between the different sects which find some
(indeed, which should find more) expression in
the treatment, architecturally, of the plan and
arrangement of dissenting churches. This article
we gather is not written by Herr Muthesius in his
official capacity; but, like his important work on
Modern English Architecture, which we have
already noticed, is the product of the opportunities
of his position here, and leads one to think rather
enviously of a Government that provides such
opportunities, and of a reading public, evidently
existent, to profit by them.

AttraversogliAlbie le Cartelle (Sensazioni a" Arte).
Fascicolo II. By Vittorio Pica. (Bergamo:
Instituto Italiano d'Arte Grafiche.)—This, the
second part of a series of reproductions of
Impressionist work, of which the first was reviewed
in a previous number of The Studio, well sus-
tains the reputation of Signor Vittorio Pica as an
able critic. The number is divided into three
sections, the first devoted to the French cari-
caturists ; the second to Belgian draughtsmen; and
the third to a group of various nationalities, the
reason for their association not being apparent.
The clever, but somewhat coarse, caricatures of the
Frenchmen will scarcely appeal to Anglo-Saxon
taste, but the number is well worth having if only for
the sake of the charming reproductions of the poetic
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