International studio — 31.1907

Page: 115
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1 cm
The Etchings of Donald Shaw MacLaughlan

Never, perhaps, since the days of that
powerful, that prodigious visionary, Meryon, have
the sights of Paris so happily inspired an artist as
in the case of Donald Shaw MacLaughlan. Here
is an artist, modest and discreet, avoiding the buzz
of advertisement, who “ shows ” his works—gene-
rally of quite small dimensions—in those obscure
corners of our exhibitions which are devoted to the
art of engraving. But to those fortunate persons
who succeed in discovering them these plates afford
a real artistic pleasure, so delicate is the graver’s
vision, so perfect his taste, and, above all, so sure
and precise his workmanship. In truth it is
astounding that so young an artist (he has only
been exhibiting since about 1891) should have
acquired such complete
mastery of the graver that
it compels the admira-
tion of artists grown old
in their arduous calling.
Looking at the etchings
now reproduced, one is
quickly convinced of this
truth—that even coming
after the greatest among
the masters, those who
seem to have said the
last word with regard to
original engraving, such
as Diirer, Rembrandt,
Callot, Meryon, Whist-
ler, Seymour- Ha den,
Flameng, and Buhot,
an artist endowed, as
MacLaughlan is en-
dowed, with the feeling
of modernity and strong
in his impeccable crafts-
manship, may yet be
able to add a personal
page to the history of
MacLaughlan has
found his principal
subjects in the streets
of Paris. It is indeed
remarkable to note
the attraction our city,
with all its vestiges of
a glorious past, possesses
for the American artist.

Accustomed as he is to the monotonous regularity
of the modern streets in the big towns beyond the
Atlantic, he feels, perhaps, even more intensely
than do we ourselves, in whom admiration may
have become weakened by habit, all the charm of
the old quartiers, the surprises of their facades, the
anachronisms smoothed over by Time, the strange-
ness of their perspectives. In his earliest efforts
MacLaughlan shovrs a marled affinity to Hervier,
the charming artist of the last century, vTho also
had realised the picturesqueness of Old Paris. In
these first plates the American engraver devoted
himself specially to details of landscapes : the
corner of some old courtyard, with linen hanging
out to dry, or a boat moored to the side of a
quay in the Cite—subjects such as these pro-
vided him with excellent motifs. But how
greatly his vision expanded in the future, and

“saint sulpice ”

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