THE MEZZOTINTS OF MR. Mr. Short, had believed that the great artistic
FRANK SHORT, A.R.A., P.R.E. manner of mezzotint had died long ago with the
BY MALCOLM C. SALAMAN. masters who consummated it.
Since its invention in 1642, the art of mezzotint
When the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers engraving has passed through varying phases of
elected Mr. Frank Short, A.R.A., as its new Presi- development, but hitherto always as an interpre-
dent, in succession to the late Sir Francis Seymour tative or reproductive art. The great English
Haden, it chose, perhaps, the most interesting, engravers of the latter half of the eighteenth
accomplished and versatile among living masters century achieved innumerable masterpieces in
of the engraver's art. Indeed, there is no known their translations of the great English portrait-
method of making pictures upon the copper-plate painters, while Turner and, later, Constable re-
which Mr. Short has not handled with originality, cognised with splendid result the value of this
distinction, and complete command of all its richly expressive medium for the interpretation of
capabilities. His etchings are, of course, among landscape as drawn or painted; but, so far, none
the finest and most individual done in our time— had seen how this beautiful branch of the en-
Whistler himself having admired and praised them graver's art could be employed for the first-hand
highly ; his aquatints have discovered fresh and picturing of sea and land in poetic moods. Mean-
more ample resources in the medium; but it is in while, the great days of mezzotint had become a
the domain of mezzotint that he holds a place tradition, the very genius of the art seeming to
quite unique and commanding, so that proofs of have been lost in a decadence of method, and, as
his plates are now sought avidly by the most ex- Ruskin thought, beyond recovery. But art calls
elusive collectors, who, until the achievements of never in vain, and mezzotint engraving was an art
" nithsdale "
XLII. No. 165.— November, 1910.
by frank short, a.r.a., p.r.e.