International studio — 31.1907

Page: 116
DOI issue: DOI article: DOI Page: Citation link:
License: Free access  - all rights reserved Use / Order
1 cm
The Etchings of Donald Shaw MacLaughlan

'■ JACK '


at the same time how greatly his work gained
in certainty and precision !
Minuteness added to a
broad and sure sense of general
effects : here, in two words, is
the essence of his art. In
the execution of detail Mac-
Laughlan is extraordinary.
Take, for example, his plate of
the Pont Neuf\ in this, the
work of the graver is truly
remarkable in its precision;
not a single detail of these
immense buildings, seen at
their full length, seems to
have escaped his scrutinising
eye, not the smallest point
but has been reproduced to
perfection by his hand. But
neither here nor in any of his
other plates does this regard
for minuteness degenerate
into mannerism; the engraver’s
eye, while faultlessly exact as
to detail, is equally capable of
realising the value of the
ensemble. This strikes one
not only in the plate just
mentioned, but also in the
similar work representing old
houses near the Ponte Vecchio,
Florence. Here his distances
develop free and broad, and
the clouds float in a sky
profound and full of colour.
Reverting to the plates done
by the engraver in Paris, one


must specially note those most] interest-
ing works he did in the ancient districts
near Notre Dame or the church of Saint
Severin. Day by day modern life, writh
its irresistible insistence, encroaches more
and more on the picturesque remains of
bygone ages. The demand for regularity
means the disappearance of the most
interesting works, and little by little the
pick of the enterprising “ house-breaker ”
is demolishing houses many centuries old.
This transformation is going on from day
to day, and even now it would be hard,
amid this continuous, unavoidable evolu-
tion, to find many scenes which delighted
us two or three years ago. At any rate, we
can see them again in the plates of this
; and, needless to say, his work, on this
has a very special documentary importance.


loading ...