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Studio: international art — 36.1906

Seite: 88
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http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/studio1906/0106
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Reviews

REVIEWS

History of Ancient Pottery. By H. B. Walters.
Based on the work of Samuel Birch. (London :
John Murray.) Two vols., R3 3s. net.— As is
pointed out by the scholarly editor of this new
edition of Birch’s standard work, an immense
advance has been made during the last half century
in the solution of a great many problems connected
with the subject. The excavations of the Acropolis
at Athens, for instance, have done much to settle
the long-vexed question of the chronology of Attic
vases; and since 1889, when those excavations
were completed, considerable light has been thrown
on many of the side-issues involved. “ It there-
fore,” says Mr. Walters, “ implies no slur on the
reputation of Samuel Birch’s work that it has
become out of date; and the present volumes
though they follow his plan in the main deviate
from it in some important particulars. The section
on Oriental pottery, which would have needed
entirely rewriting in view of the recent discoveries
connected with primitive art in Egypt and else-
where, has been omitted . . . and space has thus
been secured for dealing fully with Etruscan and
Roman, as well as with Greek, pottery.” In fact, the
new publication is practically a complete summary
of everything now known of classic ceramic art, no
source of information, English or foreign, having been
neglected ; whilst the illustrations in Birch’s work
have been supplemented by an immense number
of reproductions of recently discovered examples,
many of them in colour. The sites and circum-
stances of the finding of specimens ; the shapes
of vases and their uses ; the materials employed ;
the technical processes of their manufacture ; their
decoration, and the meaning of the subjects of that
decoration; the inscriptions, whether painted or
incised, are all clearly described and explained ;
whilst the way in which they reflect the home-life
of their owners is ably brought out. “ Greek
vases,” says Mr. Walters, “ have become an inex-
haustible source for illustrating the manners,
customs, and literature of Greece ”; adding, in the
words of M. Pottier, “ A Greek vase painting is
not only a work of art, it is an historical document.”
In the chapters on Etruscan and Roman pottery
Mr. Walters carries his researches into all the out-
lying provinces of the vast empire, showing how
its culture and also its gradual decay of artistic
taste are reflected in the relics of pottery every-
where preserved. The story of Roman lamps is
a romance of human life and death ; for they were
used not only to give light to the living, but as
votive offerings in temples, and were often placed
88

in tombs as a protection to the dead. In some
cases also they were kept burning, possibly as a
symbol of the life beyond the grave.

Bryaris Dictionary of Painters and Engravers.
Vols. IV. and V. New illustrated edition, revised.
Edited by Dr. G. C. Williamson. (London :
George Bell & Sons.) 21s. net each.—These two
volumes, completing what is certainly the fullest
and most trustworthy dictionary of painters and en-
gravers in the English language, fully maintain the
high level of excellence of their predecessors. The
editor, whose powers of work seem absolutely un-
limited, has, as before, secured the services of a
number of expert collaborateurs, and has himselt
contributed several important articles. Several hun-
dred new biographies have been added to the new
volumes, whilst a very great number of those in the
last edition have been entirely rewritten. The
long-neglected miniature painters have at last been
accorded the position that is their due, and many
gifted amateurs have been included who, but for the
accident that they did not call for material reward,
might have taken high rank as professional artists ;
and space has even been found for the recognition
of some few medallists, such as Pistrucci and
Pingo. In a word, thoroughness of research and
fulness of detail are the most salient characteristics
of the text of a work that will be an inexhaustible
mine of wealth to all future students of art history.
Moreover, illustrated as it is with numerous fine
photogravures and process blocks after typical
works, it is far more than a mere biographical
dictionary, for as now completed it is an epitome
of representative masterpieces of painting and
engraving.

Masterpieces selected from the Korin School. By
Shiichi Tajima. Volume II. (Tokyo: Shimbi
Shoin. London : Bernard Quaritch.)—The second-
volume of this valuable work still further en-
lightens us as to the remarkable versatility, the
fine draughtsmanship and the sound decorative
knowledge possessed by the great Japanese master
Ogata Korin. The two Kakimono, Nonobikt
Waterfall and Narihira going to Azuma, the
former owned by the Baron Yanosuke Iwasaki,
the latter by Viscount Sadahiro Hisamatsu, are
masterpieces of Japanese painting; and the superb
manner in which they are reproduced by chromo-
xylography is a tribute to this method of repro-
duction and to the care with which the work is
edited. Especial attention should also be directed
to the drawing Hen and Chickens, and more
especially to the hen, in which the fuss and
anxiety to protect her brood are so well portrayed
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