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Studio: international art — 27.1903

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Designs for Cottages

To be strictly correct, one should speak of Lavery "■ *V ESIGNS FOR COTTAGES:
as an Irish painter, for he is a Scot only by self- I 1 SOME REMARKS UPON THE

adoption. He was born in the North of Ireland, If RESULTS OF "THE STUDIO"

and, being of Irish ancestry, no doubt the theorists pQMPETITION A XXVIII
who believe that all good things in British art and
letters come from the Celtic element in the British

nation will claim him for their own. Again, it can- The response to this competition has been a

not be said of Lavery that he continued, in any large one, and, after leaving on one side those

binding sense, to be influenced by the ideals and impossible and inept designs which are inevitable—

shibboleths of the artistic fraternity with which, in but are curiously few in the'present instince,—there

his early days, he was associated. It is ever thus remains a body of work of a very interesting nature,

with painters of marked individuality and power. The competitors will, we are sure, recognise that

Strong painters cannot continue to march in flocks, sheer considerations of space prevent notice of

save, indeed, in the sense that a strong painter each one of the works submitted, and we hope

may lead a flock. The tendency to herd with one's they will understand that, if their own does not

fellow-workers is, of course, a wholesome one in come under mention, it by no means implies that

youth. It is, unquestionably, one way, and a it belongs to the category of those of which silence

healthier way than the art school commonly supplies, is an adequate criticism.

of learning one's business. But the individual There is amongst the various sets and sheets of

artist, sooner or later, and better sooner than drawings an extraordinary divergence of feeling as

later, has to "gang his own gait," and play for to the best and most effective method of setting

" the great lone hand." To say of Lavery, that forth the various designs, and there is a sliding-

soon after he broke away from the somewhat scaie from the feeble and amateurish to such

depressing influence of the naturalistic school— strong, and individual work as " Ovon," and such

the school of grey shadows and feeble contrasts— effective and workmanlike drawing as is shown

he fell under the spell of James McNeill Whistler, by "Bunny Hutch," "Twentieth Century," and

is to say nothing. Every young painter "of to day "Brush."

worth his salt has felt the influence of this remark- Fortunately, the misleading " architectural per-

able artist's individuality ; as every painter who spective," with its elements of what the draughtsman

immediately followed Rembrandt or Velasquez, knows as " fudge," is not very largely present, and

Reynolds or Constable, Diaz or Corot, felt the the competitors prefer to rely upon the more

influence of those commanding personalities. veracious, if properly understood, plan, elevation,

But it is easy to see, and the painter himself and section,
admitted as much when the issue was directly pre- The architectural thought exhibited is interesting,
sented to him, that he is wedded to no particular and the subject set them was a well-chosen test, in-
school of painting; no particular style or method, asmuch as, of all buildings, such small houses as
The discussion as to the respective merits of these give an opportunity of manifesting the in-
impressionism, realism, naturalism, romanticism, dividual tastes and preferences of a proprietor or
classicism, and all the rest of it, which even yet client, as expressed in architectural terms. The
causes wide divergences of opinion in many a studio amount to be expended clearly indicated that the
soon came to have no personal interest for him. cottage to be designed was not intended for occupa-
With Lavery, as with all great artists, the result is tion, at a remunerative rent by an artisan, a work-
conclusive. Any method which eventuates in a man, or a farm-labourer. It rather meant that
strong and pleasing effect is legitimate. As an the building was to be of the nature of what have,
illustration of this, though of course the particular of recent years, near London and other large cities,
instance is comparatively trivial, involving no great been known as " week-end cottages." These re-
principle fought for by the pedants, his practice of treats, where the tired city doctor, barrister, or
adding effects or suggesting emendations to his merchant finds occasional holiday and rest in the
unfinished works, by painting them on the glass simpler life for which such buildings are adapted,
covering them, may be mentioned. But the more and under the blue sky, and in the purer air in
particular consideration of the painter's methods, which they are built, are a distinct feature in
and the registration in detail of his achievements, our life of to-day. Round London, especially in
must be reserved for a subsequent article. Surrey and Sussex, are many of these pretty little
(To be continued.) (Continued, page 2\)

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