Studio: international art — 2.1894

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The Lay Figure Speaks


Colour-printing by means of " process blocks "
is in the air. So far the more simple the attempt
the more satisfactory has been the result. At the
Grafton Galleries most excellent work is shown in a
style that recalls the fiat tints of some of the
Japanese printers. Indeed, for this one subject
alone the exhibition justifies its existence; it is a
revelation in the possibilities of the craft.

The Christmas number of The Sketch may also
be commended highly for its full-page plates,
which are, like the early Venetian blocks, in two
colours, but not, like those, confined to an effect
of a pen or charcoal drawing on dark-coloured
paper, with the high lights put in in white chalk or
pigment. These show a modern and quite distinct
convention which is charming in its own way.
The plate on page 47, of A Girl on the Ice,
or the Man with Balloons, on page 42, are capital
examples of this class of work, which is destined
no doubt to acquire great commercial popularity.

It is good news to hear that a class for teaching
"illustration," with special reference to the tech-
nique of reproduction by process, is contemplated
at the Slade School. Should the scheme come
into practical working, Mr. Joseph Pennell, who is
chosen for its instructor, will be obviously the right
man in the right place, and Professor Fred Brown
will add to the services he has already rendered to
art, by recognising the importance of this subject
in the present state of the picture market.

Those interested in the technique of reproduction
by process should study a pen-and-ink drawing by
C. D. Gibson, reproduced by half-tone, on page
153 of The Century Magazine for Nov. 1893.
The result has much of the quality hitherto deemed
peculiar to an etching.

In the same number, Mr. Childe Hassam's
studies of New York will come as a surprise to
those who do not know the oils and pastels of this
very clever American artist, whose studio, in the
centre of the city he loves to paint, is crowded
with vivid, modern, and superbly decorative studies
of its streets and parks, which are consistent tran-
scripts of the actual life around him. His method
has great affinity to some of the best work of the
New English Art Club. Both " derived from
Paris," some will say. Possibly ! but the difference
between a perfectly naturalised art and one roughly
transplanted, slight as it may appear to a casual
observer, is vital. What looks very French in
London or New York, looks at times very English,
or American, as the case may be, in Paris, and Mr.
Childe Hassam is distinctly local and individual.

Recognising that many of the drawings of the
illustrated periodicals to-day are worthy of framing
or of careful preservation in a portfolio, Black and
White announces that proofs of its most impor-
tant engravings can be obtained separately on
thick paper at a trifling cost. This is an innova-
tion worth making. Collectors of special subjects,
or of one man's work, will welcome it, while to
those who "grangerize"—extra-illustrate is the
catalogue term—it will be a great joy.

The Dial, a sumptuous folio of plates and letter-
press is surely the finest magazine in the world. If,
indeed, a work which appears at long and irregular
intervals—No. 1 in '89, No. 2 in'92, and No. 3 in '93
—can be ranked as a periodical. As it is impossible
to do adequate justice to the book in a short notice,
it must suffice to mention the most important fea-
tures : Three exquisitely dainty lithographs by C.
H. Shannon, Romantic Landscape, White Nights,
and An. Intruder; two very powerfully imagined
pen-drawings, Phcrdra, and Ariadne, by C. S.
Ricketts, and Centaurs, and the Lotus-Eaters, by
Reginald Savage.

The Note 071 Gustave Moremt is a fine piece of
contemporary criticism of a class seldom attempted


in our tongue. "Charles R. Sturt," its author,
should not allow it to remain long without com-
panion studies. In short, the number, whether
you do, or do not, sympathise with the ideas which
are so ably set forth by pen and pencil, is a unique
instance of the exceeding vitality of art which is
essentially English, although it appears an exotic to
the man in the street. Fantastic, imaginative, and
bizarre, the illustrations to The Dial axe firstly art,
and almost equally literature, so that to a sympa-
thetic critic it is hard to write a notice without
rhapsody which is superfluous, as to those who
appreciate it it needs no praise, and no praise
would make it acceptable to those who are not
in sympathy with it. Perhaps no modern journal
of so limited a circulation has ever had so much
attention awarded it by foreign artists.

The Lay Figure.
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