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Studio: international art — 27.1903

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http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/studio1903/0061
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Gaetano Previati

one that by its influence is likely to improve
current taste in embroidery, it should be men-
tioned that she is in touch with a world-known
London firm, who have given a special name to her
work, and are willing to take as much of it as she
cares to send them. That she is kept busy in
the supply is a practical testimony to the success
of her efforts. As a further addition to her powers,
Miss Macbeth possesses in no small degree the art
of imparting instruction to others ; and as one ot
the teachers in the Embroidery Class of the Glasgow
School of Art she has found another channel
whereby the influence of her work is extended.
Glasgow decorative art is known outside the city
on the Clyde, and a steady progress in the work of
the class, especially in the branch of applique, has
been noticeable since Miss Macbeth's accession to
the staff of the school. It is by the cultivation of
an all-round appreciation of the application of art
to our common surroundings that we may hope for
any raising of the standard of that curious quality
called public taste. For if beauty be seen and felt
in things lowly, there exist the possibilities of its
further appreciation in higher things; and a city,
whose citizens have beautiful things in their houses,
may hope to exact from civic authorities a recog-
nition of the truth that, as the house is, so shall
the city be. Fra. H. Newbery.

N ITALIAN PAINTER: GAET-
ANO PREVIATI. BY AL-
FREDO MELANI.

Gaetano Previati is one of the most dis-
tinctly individual modern artists of Italy ; for, in
judging the work of painters, it is necessary to
distinguish between those whose aim is to pro-
duce a purely material effect upon the spectator
and those who are able to imbue their canvases
with their own deeply poetic spirit. The
name is legion of those who are able to delight
the eye with fascinating line and colour, but
those who can awaken really aesthetic emotion
through the medium of painting are, indeed,
comparatively few. Amongst them, however,
the artist under notice is certainly entitled to
rank. Born in Ferrara, a district with a glorious
art-history in the past, Previati began life in an
inspiring art-environment. His predilection for
the life of a painter was, however, opposed by
his parents, whose ambition was to see their
son develop into a successful merchant. As a
matter of fact Gaetano received a technical
education, such as was qualified to bring about

the result desired by his parents, but he did not
succeed in achieving that result, simply because
his heart was not in the matter.

It was not until after many entreaties that
Previati, senior, yielded a reluctant consent to his
son entering the School of Art at Ferrara, con-
ducted by masters who were by no means represen-
tative of Italian traditions; and it was in this little
provincial school that Gaetano began to learn the
language of form and colour—that is to say, began
to draw in accordance with some distinct method.
No longer a boy when he entered on the new
course of instruction in art, Previati was very soon
compelled to abandon it, to serve his term as a
soldier. Fortune, however, favoured the young
Ferrarese even in his military career; for he was
sent to Leghorn, a district contrasting no doubt
unfavourably with his birthplace in some ways,
for it is perhaps the least artistic in Tuscany,
but endowed with an unique situation on a coast
full of inspiration to every poetic spirit, and near
to Pisa, the city beloved of Ruskin. Soon, how-
ever, Previati left Leghorn for Florence, where he
had, of course, great facilities for study ; and, still
eager to progress in painting, he frequented the
studio of Amos Cassioli, a distinguished but not
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