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Studio: international art — 35.1905

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http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/studio1905b/0069
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Gloria in Excelsis

Stanhope Forbes, Mr. Hughes Stanton’s Stud land,
Mr. Mark Fisher’s In the Orchard, Mr. J. A.
Park’s The Bay : Cloudy Bay, and a large

religious composition, Easter Morn, by Mr. H. A.
Olivier. In the water-colour room, where drawings
of the first rank are never very plentiful, the most
attractive contributions are Mr. Arthur Rackham’s
The Sea King and The King and the Dentist, Sir
E. J. Poynter’s A Surrey Chalk-pit, Mr. G. H.
Lenfestey’s A Cornfield., Mr. Lionel Smythe’s
Gentle Spring, Professor von Herkomer’s His
Highness the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, Mr. St.
George Hare’s pastel portrait Miss Fairfax, and
the miniatures by Mrs. Emslie, Mrs. Lee Hankey,
Miss D. Holme, Mr. Catani, Mr. Alyn Williams,
and Mr. R. W. Macbeth.

The sculpture section at the Academy is always
worth special consideration, for in it can often be
found some of the most convincing demonstrations
of the possibilities of progress in British art. Our
sculptors are certainly advancing both in knowledge
of the technical side of their craft, and in appre-
ciation of refinements of design. This year there
is much to support this hopeful view. Such works
as Mr. Goscombe John’s Drummer Boy, lor a
memorial at Liverpool, Mr. Hamo Thornycroft’s
statue of Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Pomeroy’s The Late
Marquis of Dujferin, Mr. H. Pegram’s Into the
Silent Land, Mr. Mackennal’s Glory, Mr. Framp
ton’s statue of Sir A. Macdonell, and his group
The true Queen is on her throne when her realm is
on her lap, Mr. Drury’s Fine Arts panel, and the
smaller works by Mr. J. M. Swan, Mr. F. Lynn
Jenkins, Mr. Goscombe John, Mr. H. Wirsing,
and Mr. W. Reynolds-Stephens, can be heartily
praised as sound achievements, well conceived, and
ably carried out. They certainly justify hopes for
the future of our school.

Gloria in excelsis. by

G. A. QUELLHORST.

To every sensation, whether physical
or intellectual, there comes a complementary
reaction. After a long period of high culture the
pendulum of popular sentiment swings back, and
instead of “art for art’s sake,” urged by a
Whistlerian study in a greenery yallery gown, we
have a cry for the “ simple life,” preached to us
with a more or less puritanic fervour. It is very
difficult to account satisfactorily for this recurring
tide in public opinion, and still more difficult to

defend the attitude of the prophets of the current
vogue ; whether it be a rhapsody on the cult of
the Pre-Raphaelite or the cant which dins per-
sistently in our ears “ ’tis only noble to be good.”
The indisputable fact remains, these periods of
altered taste do occur, and whether they owe
their origin to a small coterie of fashion-makers
in the “ smart set,” or to a genuine revulsion oi
feeling among the masses, the altered tone is
apparent to all when the tide has set in. Just
now, the mood would seem to be of the Arcadian
order, so that unless you would figure as an
untutored savage you must profess an asceticism
a la Savonarola.

To have a taste for antique furniture, Elzevirs,
to read anything but “ Pilgrim’s Progress,” or to
discriminate the merits of pictures, Fra Angelico
or Madox Brown, is to stamp yourself an idolator
and worshipper of the golden calf. You dare not
transcend entalise after the Gilbertian manner,
but must put on the sober and stern philosophy
which forbids exultation as a qualification for a
kind of “ Black List” of sentiment—in short,
“ thou shalt not gush,” is the tenor of the
latest commandment, and the public is to
invest itself in a mental environment of sackcloth
and ashes.

The effort which humanity has made to render
tribute to its higher nature is nothing. The form
of aspiration which gave to the world the Acropolis
of Athens, the Venus de Medici, or the stately
expressions of mediaeval piety to which we owe
our own Gothic cathedrals, is tabooed as a fetish,
and its exponents are priests of the mammon of
unrighteousness.

If stones are to have sermons, they must be the
stones of the running brook and not the laboured
monuments of scholarly achievement. But if this
be true, is it not strange that every nation of every
time has been unable to confine within its natural
banks this stream of virile exuberance ? Music,
poetry, and painting have been among the forms
which the overflowing soul has found for the ex-
pression of its feelings, and the constant effort has
been to let “ knowledge grow from more to more.”
The mere passive enjoyment of a sentiment will
not satisfy the restless cravings of human passion
moved to enthusiasm by the ardour of conviction
upon any subject, let it be what it may. Action is
needful to unburden the mind, which would other-
wise give way beneath the strain or become per-
manently warped, like a bow perpetually strung,
with all its resilience taken out of it by continuous
restraint in one direction. Byron fully realised this

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