Studio: international art — 1.1893

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An Interview with Mr. Frederick Hollyer


A commonplace looking room on

the ground-floor of a commonplace house in a
quiet Kensington square, the demure plainness of
its furniture relieved only by the soft grey tones of
the countless platino-type reproductions of the
pictures of that apostle of romanticism, Mr. Burne-
Jones, which lined the walls. This is where I

fore, eminently fitting that I should come to this
modest oracle for a word on the vexed question of
art and photography. As luck would have it I
had made my pilgrimage at an opportune moment,
for taking advantage of the leisure afforded him by
a rare holiday, Mr. Hollyer had, the day before,
acquitted himself of a piece of work which I think
represents the high-water mark of photographic
portraiture. He had deliberately set himself a
task, the technical and artistic difficulties of which
would to the ordinary man have seemed in-


found Mr. Frederick Hollyer, a sturdy, broad- superable. The result, in the shape of a platinum

shouldered, good-humoured and good-looking man print from the untouched negative, was hanging in

of middle age, who comes nearer to the defi- his studio to dry, and I was gratified with the

nition of artist-photographer than any other man first outsider's glance at it. It was simplicity

in England. To the art-loving public in general, itself; a charmingly pretty girl dressed in a simple

and to the section of the American community summer costume of pure white, standing at an

which deserves that title in especial, Mr. Hollyer is open door, with her fingers resting on the handle

chiefly known and appreciated as the translator as though she were on the point of going out into

into a more popular medium of the poetic fancies the little suburban garden, a glimpse of which was

of Rossetti and Burne-Jones. To a smaller circle, caught beyond. The upper part of the figure was

however, that appreciation is widened into recog- seen against a background of absolute sunlight,

nition of what may be called, without prejudice, and yet face, arms, white dress, hair, and dazzling

his creative work, as distinct from his reproductive sunlight were all given with a fidelity to values

work with the camera. It seemed to me, there- which would not have been unbecoming to a

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