Studio: international art — 10.1897

Page: 119
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The Decorative Art Movement in Paris

are known as objets (Tart, and
other " fancy " productions of
high price. This of itself, of
course, was something of a
victory over the spirit of
official routine and conven-
tion implanted in the mind
of the public. But the goal
had not yet been reached. It
remained to impress upon the
masses the fact that the mar-
ket price, the money value,
of an article, the material of
which it is made, has nothing
to do with its artistic worth.
That for the same price as
one would pay for the ugliest
and most commonplace
things, of no aesthetic merit
whatever, it is possible to
procure articles of practical
utility, which, at the same
time, are works of art by
virtue of their strict confor-
mity to the needs for which
they are intended, by their
shape, and by the harmony
existing between their pur-
pose and the materials of
which they are composed.
It was necessary also, and
is necessary still, to persuade
the public, and make them
realise that there is no such

writing-table, hanging shelf, and screen by c. plume! ^ ^ ^ «« j^j^ „

wall-hanging and carpet by felix aubert . , .. , . . ,

rial, if only the artist know
how to utilise it suitably,

THE DECORATIVE ART r-dapting himself to the requirements of its plia-
MOVEMENT "iN PARIS. BY bility' °r / ^ powerr to everything,

GABRIEL MOUREY. m * "°rd' ^but t0 ke up Its

real nature, its individual quality. I o convince
The decorative art movement in the public of these fundamental truths of decora-
F ranee, which unhappily means Paris alone, for tive esthetics were to inspire a hatred of all the
it has no existence in the Provinces—Bretagne and shams and meretricious imitations which hitherto
Provence, Auvergne and Savoy, where so many have held sway in the ornamentation of modern
delightful and varied industries flourish—has but interiors.

lately entered on a new phase of activity, more One must not be too hasty in claiming a victory;
practical than heretofore, and more generally still, the fact remains that in this particular direc-
accessible. tion the prospect has never seemed so bright as

Since the date of that first Salon of the Champ- now. Evidence at hand, both in the shape of
de-Mars in 1890, when it won its rights of citizen- collective work and isolated effort here and there,
ship among the higher arts, and ceased to be justifies the assertion that modern decorative art in
regarded as one of the inferior, French decorative France is at last in the right way to compel the
art had been too particularly confined to what attention and the admiration even of the most

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