Studio: international art — 2.1894

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Shidies by J. T. IV. Manuel


TUDIES BY A NEW " CHARAC- ings by Phiz, or Cruikshank, do not seem to-
TER" DRAUGHTSMAN T T characters, hardly caricatures, so much as

WRIGHT MANUEL ' ' puppets, more or less amusing, but too obviously

It has been said of a sister art, that
whereas in serious poetic efforts a certain license
in the use of permissible rhymes, and some re-
laxation of form, is occasionally pardonable, that
in comic verse no such trifling can be allowed.
In the graphic arts the reverse has usually ob-
tained. In looking through an illustrated history
of caricatures and humorous sketches, one is con-
fronted for the most part with very inartistic
attempts; the fun may be there, but the scholar-
ship is to seek. By this one does not altogether
mean that slovenly drawing or inexact presenta-
tion of fact makes them conspicuously uninterest-
ing as works of art, but that they lack distinction.

The drawings by Hogarth, the grotesques of W.
Busch, and dozens of old and new men might be
defended against such objection ; yet, as a rule, in
the lesser man's work there is not merely broad
humour but coarse art. The subject is not the
point, but its treatment. For instance, the famous
Ally Slofier cartoons, by the late W. G. Baxter,
charm an artist by their graphic power and force
of draughtsmanship ; although his taste may be
offended by the literary aspect of the pictures. Of
modern men, to omit English examples, Caran
d'Ache, and a host of French artists, notably
Forain, have redeemed the humorous picture of
its shortcomings on artistic grounds. The draw-

from a sketch by j. t. w. manuel

comic in essence to impart a certain unexpected-
ness which is a very prominent quality of humour.
Take the acting of Mr. George Grossmith or Mr.
Dan Leno, and you are conscious that more than
half the pleasure is derived from the apparent
seriousness of the actor—as a true artist, in each
case, he permits the effects of his acting to be
"funny" without the inane gestures and grotesque
make-up of the common " eccentric," who leaves.
from a sketch by j. t. w. Manuel no possible contrast between the apparent dignity

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