The landscape paintings
OF CHARLES M. GERE.
Mr. Gere is a versatile artist whose work
is admired in more than one field of effort. We
intend here, however, to confine our review of
recent achievements of his brush chiefly to his
landscape painting, and in particular to the work
which he has done upon silk or thin canvas. It is
easy to reconcile the decorative intentions of the
Japanese artists to the surfaces of material of this
kind, and easy also to understand the choice of the
same surfaces on the part of an artist like the late
Mr. Crawhall, the virtue of whose work rested with
scholarly economy of line and infinite suggestive-
ness. But in the case of sweeping views of the
countryside, landscape rather crowded with inci-
dent than otherwise, we have a new kind of subject
for representation in this method.
There is an interdependence between an artist’s
attitude towards nature and his choice of materials.
To understand the spirit of Mr. Gere’s methods we
must first prove ourselves susceptible to the view
he takes of nature, as represented chiefly in views
of the English countryside or Italian lake scenery.
The characteristic of the English scenes in his art
is a lyrical spirit. His landscapes seem to take the
form of a hymn to sunrise, or to high noon in a
romantic valley filled with the heavy leafage of
summer. It is possible, as a matter of fact, to give
that romantic valley a name: the Severn Valley.
Of this neighbourhood, in a mood of nature most
characteristic of its principal charm, Mr. Gere has
been the poet in a series of his delicate panels.
Flitherto we have associated delicate use of colour,
upon a material so marvellously responsive to touch
as silk, with an art like Conder’s, artificial in its
intention and result. We had not thought of the
method as the very one for an expression of the
spring fragrance of a wooded hill-side. But Mr.
Gere has shown us this use of his material. His
method has been a slight one, but the message
has been frequently invigorating.
Mr. Gere does not entirely confine himself to the
“THE MOURNING OF DEMETER” (TEMPERA PAINTING)
L. No. 198.—August 1913
BY CHARLES M. GERE