Studio: international art — 10.1897

Page: 165
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Mr. Menpes Japanese Drawings

order to hasten his success, to any of those base of religious obligation, not to be profaned by

devices so common among artists over-anxious for inattention nor made of no account by careless

an immediate popularity. He has made his posi- patronage.

tion by himself alone, through sheer ability and To the European artist, accustomed to the

charm of style. For after all, in the long run, material and unsesthetic ideas of Western civilisa-

honour must come to those who, like him, are tion, this absorption of art into the very life of the

content to remain genuine artists, true to their art, Japanese nation comes as a delightful relief. He

devoted to it, working conscientiously and bravely finds for the first time what general appreciation

to add their share to the artistic legacy of their race of the principles in which he believes really means,

and imbue their fellow-men with a love of beauty He exchanges an atmosphere of indifference, if not

and life and art. Gabriel Mourey. opposition, for one in which his best aspirations

are met with sympathy, and his aims and inten-



It is not difficult to
understand the extraordinary fascination
that Japan, as a sketching ground, exer-
cises over artists of all kinds. There is,
perhaps, no part of the world where the
painter can find ready to his hand so
much delightful material for pictures and
so large an amount of pictorial sugges-
tion of the best kind. His work there
is helped by his surroundings, and en-
couraged by the artistic atmosphere
which pervades the whole country.
Everywhere he may turn he is brought
face to face with esthetic manifestations
that are the more convincing because
they plainly reflect the conviction of all
classes of the people. Art in Japan has
been cultivated until it has become,
what it should always be, an inseparable
part of the national life, and has grown
into the dominating characteristic of the
popular point of view. It is not re-
garded, as it is among us, as a luxury,
the plaything of the rich, and as some-
thing too expensive or too frivolous to
occupy the thoughts of any one who is
forced by necessity to give close atten-
tion to the problem of existence. On
the contrary, every one uses it there as
the chief motive for effort, and looks
upon it as something which is absolutely
indispensable for properly perfecting
the daily round of national and indi-
vidual duty. In hardiy any country
save classic Greece has it been wor-
shipped in so devout a spirit: and
certainly in modern times no other
nation treats it so completely as a kind embossed design by Alexandre ciiarpehtier

i6S sortant de i/eau
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