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Studio: international art — 34.1905

Seite: 272
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Reviews

Roesler Franz, besides his work for the exhibi-
tions, had some beautiful and most sympathetic
water-colours in his studio in the Piazza San
Claudio. His handling of the scenery round
Tivoli, and especially his pictures of the Villa
D'Este, are delicious. His work is always full of
atmosphere, and a painting of mist among a group
of cypresses could not have been surpassed for
tenderness of treatment. There are not many
English artists just now in Rome, but Coleman's
pictures of the Campagna are true expressions of
that mysterious country that lies outside the city
walls. Miss Weld, too, has been showing some
very sympathetic bits of colouring in her water-
colour sketches of Siena.

The Belle Arti, which was opened by the King
and Queen on February 22nd, is a quite successful
exhibition. The Count of San Martino conducted
the Royal party through the rooms, and we noticed,
among other pictures, admirable work by Joris and
Sartorio, while Carlandi's paintings attracted a good
deal of attention. F. D.

[Owing to great pressure upon our space a large
amount of important Studio-Talk is unavoidably
held over till next month.^\

REVIEWS

Francesco Guardi. By George A. Simonson.
(London: Methuen.) £2 2s. net.—With rare
generosity the author of this exhaustive monograph
on the talented Venetian painter, whose merits have
too long been overlooked, gives not only the names
of the sources of his information, but also an actual
rescript of the documents consulted by him. These
include the genealogical tree of the Guardi family,
two autograph letters of the artist, an extract from
the Diary of Senator Gradenijo relating to Guardi's
art work, many valuable notes collected in Venice
in 1853 by Dr. Bernandelli, with the aid of the
painter's grandnephew, Nicolo, the certificates of
Guardi's birth and death, with several other inter-
esting MSS. of less importance. Out of these dry
bones Mr. Simonson has constructed a very life-
like presentment of a man who was by no means
the least interesting of the group of masters who
flourished during the last art revival in the Lagoon
city, and added lustre to the glorious period that
preceded the decline of the Republic. Taking it
for granted that his readers are already familiar
with the environment of Guardi, 'who, he says,
heads the long list of masters who idealized Venice,
and with whom, in his opinion, the Venetian school
272

closed, the biographer of the accomplished master
dwells rather on his work than on his position with
regard to others. He judges that work on its own
intrinsic merits, refraining from constant compari-
son with that of others, except where there is some
very definite reason for doing so, with the result that
the peculiar excellences of Guardi are now, per-
haps, for the first time clearly defined. To quote
but one pregnant sentence, none of Guardi's fellow-
painters, says his critic, excelled him in what was
called the maniera sfumata, or vaporous style, or
were able to produce "the delicacy and mellowness
of his sunny-gold, silvery-grey, steel-blue, green,
and copper-red lines." To the laborious task of
ascertaining the present location of Guardi's pictures,
scattered over two continents, Mr. Simonson has
brought the same patient and practical discrimina-
tion. The long lists given at the end of the volume
represent a vast amount of time and labour, and
the fine illustrations, many of them in photogravure,
enriching the text, are thoroughly representative of
every stage of the artist's long career.

Le Mus'te de la Com'edie Francaise. By Emile
Dacier. (Paris: Librairie de l'Art ancien et
moderne.) 15 francs.—In spite of the focussing
of public attention upon the fine art collections of
the Comedie Francaise by their rescue from destruc-
tion in the fire that consumed the theatre on March
8th, 1900, their existence is little known out ot
Paris, and for this reason it is to be hoped that the
exhaustive work just published by M. Emile Dacier
will be widely read. The author, an expert critic
who wields the pen of a ready writer, has woven
into a deeply interesting and trustworthy narrative
a history of the theatre, of its art treasures, and of
the great actors and actresses who were the glory
of its stage. Many of the portraits which are
preserved in its galleries are here well reproduced,
including that of Moliere as Cassar, by Pierre
Mignard, the fine bust of the same famous comedian
by Thindon, the beautiful likeness of Adrienne
Lecouvreur by Charles Coypel, and that of Mile.
Mars as Betty in " La Jeunesse de Henri V." by
an unknown hand. Full completeness is, more-
over, given to a book that will appeal alike to those
interested in aesthetic and dramatic art, and the
social changes reflected in them, by a series of
appendices—one a catalogue raisonne of all the
works of art in the museum, another a chrono-
logical list of all the portraits in existence of
the actors and actresses who appeared on the
boards of the Comedie Francaise between the
time of Moliere and the end of the nineteenth
century.
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