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Studio: international art — 35.1905

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given to painting a Provencal School, not perhaps
as brilliant as the Italian or the Flemish, but one,
nevertheless, including masters whose fame is
becoming world-wide. Puvis de Chavannes, in
the two admirable frescoes which decorate the
staircase leading to the upper galleries of the Musee
de Peinture, has represented Marseilles not only
as the “ Gate of the East,” but also as a “ Greek
colony.” If only as a daughter of Hellas, it
behoved Marseilles—she owed it to herself—to
possess beyond all others the Cult of Beauty; and
it may truly be said that, prosperity aiding, she has
not been lacking in this duty; that she has
“ brought up,” nourished and honoured several
generations of artists. It is due solely to the par-
ticular conditions existing in France that these
artists have not achieved greater fame. France
suffers artistically from the great evil of centralisa-
tion. No artist can hope for renown if he has not
received the consecration of Paris. For all con-
cerned Paris is the mirage, the promise of Fame,
the dreamy potentiality of a name which shall sur-
mount all barriers, and go beyond life itself. Paris
is the monster of many and far-reaching tentacles,
which clears country side and town alike, which
attracts and captures all there is of talent in every
artistic domain. And he who would hold aloof is
condemned to silence and oblivion.

Against this tendency we must agitate; against
this despotism we must raise the standard of revolt.
Therefore it is essential that the provinces, possess-
ing and keeping artists of their own, should make
them known to the outside world. As for Mar-
seilles itself, everyone should know that, apart from
its noisy daily commerce on the quays, it has artists
who are working silently and in shade.

Thus it is that I now want to introduce to the
readers of The Studio a young artist of Marseilles,
the water-colourist Casimir Raymond.

Whereas many artists have had to await maturity,
or even old age, in order to see their gifts win
recognition from the public and praise from critics,
Casimir Raymond, by the favour of a happy fate,
has been established a master at an age when most
artists are regarded only as students. He was
giving lessons when the men of his time were still
receiving them. He was indeed “ a prophet in
his own country.” The man often explains the
artist, and it is enough to have seen Casimir Ray-
mond, with his water-colours around him, opening
his cardboard cases for the benefit of his friend, to

understand the artist. In this old church—where,
maybe, a cult—the cult of Beauty—is still wor-
shipped—the air still seems laden with a faint
scent of incense. Joyous daylight, passing through
the gay-coloured glass, lights up the masterpieces
which form the decoration of this harmonious
interior—masterpieces of ancient Greece, of the
Florence of the Medicis, of the Flanders of the
Renaissance, of the Provence of the old regime.

Casimir Raymond, who was born at Marseilles
in 1870, was a student at the Ecole des Beaux-
Arts of that town, where he took lessons from
Bistagne and Poizat. He worked tremendously
hard, traversed the whole of Provence, made
several journeys to Italy, first to Venice and then
to Naples. Afterwards he went to Brittany, thence
to return with numerous “ documents.” Mean-
while one of his water-colours had been admitted
into the town gallery, he had won many medals
from sundry provincial exhibitions, and had been
“ received ” at the Salon des Champs-Elysees,
where from 1896 forward he exhibited year after
year with success.

One of the most remarkable qualities of Ray-
mond is the facility and the perfection of his
technique. One rarely sees such ease in repre-
senting an impression; the artist seems to be
able to reproduce at will his own peculiar sensa-
tions ; and his technique in no way deforms them.
One is never conscious of this struggle against
materiality. This quality, pressed though it be to the
point of virtuosity, would be naught were it attached
to mere mediocrity ; but here, happily, it is at the
service of a real artist. To him it has meant variety,
the faculty of not attaching himself to a single type,
but of adapting himself to the exigencies of a di-
verse temperament never alike from one moment
to another. Thus it is that, with equal success, he
has reproduced the intense luminosity of the heated
South and the misty mornings of Brittany.

So well does he paint the atmosphere that his
landscapes seem enveloped with air and perfume.
A picture from his brush is not a mere work of
realism, but rather a dream in paint ; it is nature
seen from inside, nature transformed as thought
and passion transform it. G. B.

REVIEWS

A History of English Furniture. Vol. I. The
Age of Oak. By Percy Macquoid. (London :
Lawrence & Bullen.) £2 2s. net.—It is perhaps

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