International studio — 15.1901/​1902(1902)

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Professor J. M. Olbrich

The work of prof.



From “Olbrich Architektur" (Berlin: Ernst Wasnmth).

Except for the house of
Prof. Peter Behrens, completely
designed, erected, and arranged by
that artist, with which we dealt in
our last issue, the architecture of
the whole exhibition originated
with Prof. J. M. Olbrich. In
addition, he has completely ar-
ranged seven dwelling-houses, a
theatre, a “representation house,”
and many exhibition buildings—
three entirely—and has designed
numberless models of furniture and
fittings of the most various kinds.

The plenitude of his ideas and
fancies is the most remarkable
fact that strikes one on first
viewing the works of Olbrich in
the exhibition. We soon observe
that the ability of the man lies in

designing, and the whole forms a work of art
which appeals to all one’s faculties.

The last work connected with Morelli’s name is
the fresco painting for the tomb of Giacomo
Leopardi in the church of S. Vitale, in Naples.
The cartoons are from the Master’s hand, but the
actual painting has been done by his son-in-law,
Prof. Paolo Vetri. They were finished just a few
days before the death of their conceiver.

It is doubtless in his religious paintings, alive
with a passion which renders possible audacities of
conception that would have damned a smaller
man, that Domenico Morelli will go down to
posterity. The influence of Palizzi and the resolute
schooling to which he subjected himself in his
earlier days gave him a solid basis from which to
work, and, modifying and restraining the impetus
of his imagination, kept in the region of the
pictorial an art which might, if left unguided, have
become too purely literary or symbolic.

Morelli’s art, truly individual as

_ it is, is the legitimate issue of the

Ipll period of Sturm und Drang in

which his youth and his prime were

Isabella M. Anderton.

to the horizon, and absolutely enters the heavens
whence the high-held, wide-armed Babe has come.
The sky, which alone with the upper stairs forms
the background to the Madonna and the Child she
holds up, is of an intense, jewel-like blue; yet it is
dusky, too, and, trailing over the upper two or
three steps, it half hides them with a transparent,
neutral-tinted veil. Thus their continuance is sug-
gested and the symbol brought home to the
spectator. The Madonna’s robe and mantle are
facetted by the brush-strokes, like gems ; they have
the spontaneity of a sketch, and yet are highly
finished. The drooping head with its drooping
eyelids is of a dusky pallor, as though full of an
awful, inexpressible emotion. And everything—-
stairs, sky, the Madonna herself—culminates in
the wide-armed Child, whose brightly golden hair,
dominating the whole colour-scheme, is as if a
flake of fire had fallen from Heaven to crown Him.
The frame of the picture is of Morelli’s own

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