Studio: international art — 1.1893

Page: 236
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An Interview with Mr. C. F. A. Voysey

Among the most striking instances of Mr. and a design for a cottage for an artist, no less

Voysey's power to take a commonplace subject than a mansion, wherein is the staircase reproduced

and impart to it distinct individuality, a design— on page 225, show that fertility of invention and a

not yet, I believe, executed—for a cottage piano, curiously individual quality, at once simple and

may be specially mentioned. In this the shafts noble, are as apparent in his architectural as in his

which support the key-board rise on either side to graphic work.

the height of the instrument, with arrangements to One of the charms of the whole range of objects

hold candles, are the most prominent features, and he has chosen is their domesticity—gorgeous

give an architectural dignity to the otherwise com- enough for palaces, you would not find they ren-

monplace piece of furniture, without in any way dered a twenty-pound house mean by their intru-

detracting from its utility, but, on the contrary, sion; on the contrary, they beautify all they come in

adding features for common every-day use. It is contact with, unless placed next to vicious and

only just to the author of a very charmingly de- vulgar ornamentation; but even then it is not Mr.

signed piano, made by Messrs. Bechstein, to note Voysey's work that suffers. To be simple is the

here that he worked out the same problem on not end, not the beginning, of design ; complexity hides

dissimilar lines, but the coincidence is purely for- a multitude of shortcomings, simplicity shows

tuitous, neither artist having known the scheme boldly its faults no less than its virtues. The

of the other. This regard for utility, which is the simplicity which is the highest effort is the selec-

basis of beauty, is apparent also in the design tion of essential beauty from all possible orna-

for the kettle stand in wrought metal we repro- ment, reduced to its most direct expression. Like

duce, which is both comely and substantial. the poetry of the phrase "green pastures by still

It is not fair to regard Mr. Voysey as a designer waters," you feel nothing can be added to the per-

alone. An architect by profession, his chief occu- fection of the description; and so in much of Mr.

pation is still concerned with the building itself, Voysey's work the flat tints and almost child-like



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