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Studio: international art — 30.1904

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1 cm
Recent Works by W. Reynolds-Stephens

are free from opacity, and from that ponderous shrewd an observer, too careful a critic of himself,
blackness which in the work of other men too to make the mistakes which are so often committed
often conceals defects in drawing or handling, by men with less adequate equipment. He thinks
He needs no such evasions of the difficulties out exhaustively every detail before he commits
of his craft, as he proves in his exercises himself to any open declaration of his intentions,
in pure line, which do not depend upon depth In the many plates—some two hundred altogether
of tone for their persuasiveness. His more sombre —that he has so far produced, his standard of accom-
plates are simply manifestations of his craving for plishment is unusually high and notably consistent ;
decision of statement, for a dramatic presentation so much so, indeed, that it justifies unusual expecta-
of the idea that he wishes to convey. It is his tions with regard to his future work. Happily, his
clear conviction that a forcible method, if only it is official duties as Keeper of the Tate Gallery and
rightly directed, will gain wider credence than one Vice-President of the Royal Society of Painter-
which is based solely upon a preference for subtle- Etchers do not occupy too much of his time. A
ties ; and that the artist who has something to say man who has made at forty-two the position he
will be more readily accepted if he shows that his holds in the art world is capable of so much more
own beliefs are confident and unhesitating. Even memorable achievement, that any serious limitation
in his line work there is no diminution of dramatic of his opportunities for following his profession
significance. The same sureness of touch, the would be a matter for real regret. A. L. B.

same strength of biting, appear in plates like his

well-known Portrait of Professor Legros and the Tj *v ECENT WORKS BY MR. W.
Flight into Egypt as in his richer and more mys- I 9 REYNOLDS - STEPHENS. BY
terious tone arrangements ; and when he chooses \ j£ WEST,

to play on the lower notes of his scale he only M.

amplifies his harmony. The modulation is fuller It is always worth while to keep touch with the
and the effect is more impressive, but the charm work that is being done year by year by Mr.
and refinement of his technical method are not Reynolds-Stephens. He is an artist who repre-
sacrificed to any false belief that people can be sents so adequately all that is best in the modern
persuaded by mere vehemence of assertion. art movement that a periodical chronicle of his

It is, perhaps, in the wide variety of his choice of achievements summarises many of the most salient
material that his large understanding of the possi- features of contemporary effort. What gives him
bilities of etching is best
manifested. Anything
which lends itself to that
decorative mode of treat-
ment, which satisfies most
completely his love of
beauty, is for him legiti-
mate subject-matter. He
modifies and adapts the
realities of Nature so as to
make them comform to
his artistic principles, but
he does so with discretion,
and does not employ an
unsympathetic or formal
convention. The indi-
viduality of his subject is
always respected, and he
never tries to graft on
to his subject a larger
measure of classical sug-
gestion than it will fairly
bear. He is far too tho-
rough in his practice, too "the prodigal son

from an etching by sir charles holroyd
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