Universitätsbibliothek HeidelbergUniversitätsbibliothek Heidelberg

Studio: international art — 9.1897

DOI issue:
Nr. 44 (November 1896)
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Studio- Talk

dicial to the artistic reputation of the countries
concerned that their exhibits should be so inade-
quate as to convey quite a false impression among
strangers ?

The great interest taken by the German public in
foreign art is strikingly shown by the remarkable
number of purchases made in the Spanish and
Italian Galleries. It must not be supposed, how-
ever, that good work is any too plentiful here.
Quite the reverse. What we see here we have been
accustomed to see for years past, and the eye has
long been weary of it. Anyhow they may serve to
adorn the drawing-rooms of their good, easy pur-
chasers, these pretty little bits of genre, almost all
alike, whether they depict a christening, or a
betrothal, or a Venetian gondola. And the fact
that the aggregate of the purchase-money for these
works is 600,000 marks—plainly showing the
spending capacity of the art-loving public in Berlin
—might well be worth the consideration of other
foreign painters.

The average of the work from Holland is excellent,
if not particularly fresh. It speaks eloquently of the
high standard of merit generally prevailing there, that
while the production is almost uniformly good, there
is very little difference in style between the work of
this or that artist. Israels sends an undoubted
masterpiece—one of the finest works exhibited—
in his picture called Ankersauswurf, or " Casting
Anchor." Among the painters who have devoted
themselves particularly to seascapes, there is none
who can convey as he does the impression of the
penetrating moisture of the sea air. One would
think that water was the artist's natural element. But
the full extent of his genius is only realised when
one examines the two ships labouring through the
waves—quite masterly in their truth and vividness.
Many other works in this Gallery demand atten-
tion, but space admits only of the mention of
Bosse and J. Maris, both admirably represented.

G. G.

The first thing an Englishman does in
in a new country is to start a news-
paper. An ordinary method of found-
ing an up-country Australian township
is to lay out a race-course. In the Australian Colonies
the earliest aspiration towards the higher civilisation
has always been the endowment of a Public Library

and a Botanical Garden. These two are quickly
followed by a Natural History Museum and a
Public Picture Gallery, around which there ulti-
mately grows up a Government School of Art, fol-
lowed eventually by local Art Societies and travel-
ling scholarships.

Several hundreds of thousands of Australian
sovereigns have thus found their way into the
pockets of famous English artists during the past
half-century, from the National Galleries of Mel-
bourne and Sydney, Adelaide, Bendigo and Bal-
larat, and from private mansions, whose wealthy
owners have been thus educated by this possession
of public treasures of Modern Art.

The latest example is the El Dorado of Western
Australia, or as she is beginning to be more generally
called " Westralia," a name originally invented by the
necessity of the electric cable, which limits words
to ten letters, or else charges double rate. The
capital city of Perth, seven or eight days' distant from
Melbourne by mail steamer, has for many years
possessed its Public Library and a very interesting
Museum. It is the Australian fashion to combine
Library, Museum, and National Gallery under one
trust, and of this trust, in Perth, Sir James Lee-
Steere, the Speaker of the House, is the Chairman.
Originally a merchant-seaman and a pioneer of the
Colony, Sir James is a man of high culture and
broad sympathies. The old heathen philosopher
regarded the riches which are dug out of the earth
only as the incentives to evil; but the rulers of our
newer West more fitly view their piles of dug-out
gold as the means of good, and with a splendid
surplus to their Budget they have started a building
for a new National Gallery. The walls and roof
should be up towards the end of the year, but the
possession of a few thousand pounds of ready cash
determined the Board of Governors of the Museum
not to wait till then for their first pictures, but to
begin housing them in one of the rooms of the

Sir James Lee-Steere and the Hon W. J.
Hackett, another member of the Board, accord-
ingly visited Melbourne last January, and entrusted
the spending of their first thousand pounds to Mr.
J. Lake, the manager of the Royal Anglo-Aus-
tralian Society of Artists, a society which, in three
exhibitions through the capital cities of the colonies
during the past five years, has shown to the