Studio: international art — 14.1898

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The Future of JVood-Engraving

all art-workers know his glass, it is possible that but
few are aware that he paints landscape. Mr. Image
himself, though he has never formally exhibited his
pictures, believes that they represent the personal
expression of his art more fully than do his designs
—this breach of private confidence may be par-
doned because the landscapes he has produced are
mostly in possession of friends, and cannot be
pointed out to speak for themselves. The stained
glass in the music room filled five lights. Three
of these contained figures, the others foliage, en-
wrapped, as it were, by a scroll bearing the legend,
From Harmony, From Harmony this Universal
Frame Began.

Here by the exigencies of publication in serial
form allusion must be made to Mr. Image’s designs
for stained glass which accompany this paper, but
as the reproductions convey as good an idea of
the original in all save colour—and even that
essential feature is suggested—a consideration of
their qualities as designs may be left until another
time. Mr. Image’s method is full of painstaking
care: he hastens slowly, and spares no pains. The
figures are first studied from the life, and very
delightful things, made usually with black chalk
upon brown paper, these preliminary drawings are.
Then the drapery is studied, and full-sized cartoons
elaborately executed with the exquisite precision of
touch that characterises every item, even a casual
letter, which leaves Mr. Image’s hands. If ever
handwriting betrayed the artist it is his, and the
lettering he employs so notably is but a slightly
more formal version of his current script. The
cartoons, full size, being made, Mr. Image chooses
the glass most carefully, and (I believe) super-
intends, if he does not actually carry through, every
step in their after development. A list of his work
in this material, although it would not be very
lengthy, would convey but little. Windows for the
Prince of Wales’ Pavilion at the Paris Exhibition ;
the west window of St. Luke’s, Camberwell; the
well-known Brownies window for a house near New-
market ; and four archangels in Morthoe Church,
Devon, are some of the most important. The rose-
tree, and the landscape with birds, and a verse be-
ginning l; Love in a shower of blossoms,” show
his peculiarly individual charm and the qualities
of his design which have influenced so much of
our best decoration to-day. That they were the
product of a poet and a scholar might be proved
from these black-and-white reproductions, and it
is the poet and the scholar plus the accomplished
artist which gives his work its rare distinction.
Scholarly, not pedantic, poetic, yet never enrap-

tured by small conceits or trivial fancies, his stained
glass is apart from the work of all others, and as
beautiful in its own way as the very best work, old
or new. No student of stained glass but will admit
that its limitations were never observed more faith-
fully nor its purpose more wisely ordered than in
Mr. Image’s windows.

The future of wood-en-


It can hardly be denied that there is
in the present condition of the art of
wood-engraving very serious cause for lamentation.
Not so many years ago it was recognised as the
one infallible process by which book illustrations
could be made, and it even vied with copper and
steel engraving for pre-eminence as a medium for
the reproduction of pictorial works. Until the last
quarter of the present century its sovereignty re-
mained almost undisputed, and artists of the most
notable skill were content to enrol themselves
among its followers and supporters. To its influ-
ence, indeed, is in great measure to be ascribed the
creation of one of the most admirable schools of
black-and-white drawing that the -whole history of
our art can show. The virile design and direct
draughtsmanship of such men as Walker, Pinwell,
and Houghton, and something of the power which
distinguished artists of even greater note, leaders of
the modern school like Lord Leighton and Sir


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