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Studio: international art — 35.1905

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Reviews

“THE COMPANIONS OF LORENZO DEI MEDICI FROM THE FRESCO

ATTEMPTING TO THROW PIER LEONI INTO THE WELL ” BY G. F. WATTS

that the painting was identified as the work of
G. F. Watts. In a very minute and elaborate
description of Careggi, published only a few years
ago, it was attributed to the school of Vasari !
But, indeed, though certain reddish tones in the
flesh and muscles might suggest that style, the
central group is so firmly handled and so life-like
that it bears decided evidence of modern feeling.
On the other hand, the side figures remind us of
Andrea del Sarto, both in pose and colouring. It
is certain that if the youthful artist did not copy
the old Florentine masters, he was at any rate
trying to study the secrets of their pictorial methods.
He must have made careful observations in the
cloister of the Santissima Annunziata.

The fresco in its present state is also of interest
for another reason : it does not exhibit that love of
purple which Watts afterwards showed so markedly,
manifesting thereby his affinity with the great
Venetians of the cinquecento—Titian above all—-
as he himself said to me in August, 1901, when,
through the courtesy of the Editor of The Studio,
I was enabled to visit the famous master at Lim-
nerslease, and when he personally assured me that
the fresco at Careggi was his own work.

During his sojourn at
Florence Watts painted a
portrait of himself — very
much in the Tuscan style
—which is now in the pos-
session of M. Victor Hugo
fils; and he also executed
portraits of several well-
known Italians who fre-
quented Lord Holland’s
house. The portrait of
Garibaldi and that of the
Contessa di Castiglione are
perhaps of this period.

Watts at this time drew
with great delicacy of exe-
cution, and of this an ex-
ample may be found in a
pencil portrait of Don Neri
Corsini, which has been
shown to me through the
kindness of Prince Tomaso
Corsini. This exquisite
drawing was given by Lord
Holland to Donna Luisa
Corsini. R. P.

REVIEWS.

Methode de Composition Ornamentale. By
Eugene Grasset. 2 vols. (Paris: Librairie

Centrale des Beaux Arts.) 65 francs.—Readers of
The Studio are already familiar with the admir-
able work of the gifted French author of these two
exhaustive volumes that deal at length with every
variety of ornamentation, and will be an invaluable
aid to the student of decorative art as well as to
the practical designer, for whose use they are
primarily intended. M. Grasset divides his sub-
ject into two parts, dealing in his first volume
with what he defines as “Elements rectilignes,”
and in his second with “Elements courbes.”
He accepts from the first the fact, too often ignored,
that the artistic gift is needed to make any teaching
effective, and assuming that those who are to use
his work possess it, he proceeds to tell them how
best to turn it to account. “ The time is gone
by,” he says, “when it was necessary to per-
suade artists to avoid the servile copying of antique
work ”; and he therefore plunges at once into
the heart of his theme, defining in eloquent
and virile language the principles that should
govern all ornamentation and the various modes
in which those principles should be put in practice.

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