Studio: international art — 14.1898

Page: 37
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1 cm
Etchings in Colour

(Never previously published)


Etchings in colour.

One of the most characteristic signs
of the times is the eagerness which
artists of all kinds are manifesting to
invent new ways of expressing themselves or to
rediscover processes which, after a certain amount
of popularity in long bygone years, have ceased
to be regarded as available for modern practice.
In all directions art-workers are busy experiment-
ing, searching for novelties, and for devices of
technique which will stand out as markedly un-
like those which have the sanction of custom
and professional tradition. It is not sufficient
to follow the beaten track, and to depend for
popularity merely upon an individual manner of
applying the principles which govern the practice
of the steady-going section of the art community.
Every ambitious worker wants to be distinguished
not only by his personal individuality but, as well,
by a certain specialism in performance which will
give him a definite claim to a place apart from the
rest. He wishes to be a craftsman with a sort of
trade secret of his own, by the use of which he
can obtain results not accessible to any one else.
The tendency is not necessarily one to which

historically true than that
which is now reproduced
here for the first time. It
is the work of Horace
Vernet at twenty-two

years of age, and was
dashed off in a few mo-
ments in the presence of
the Imperial model.

His pencil portraits—
innumerable, but little
known, because they have
been jealously preserved
in the family portfolios—
are perhaps of even
greater interest than his
oil portraits. Some of
them, as may be judged
by the examples now re-
produced, display beneath
their light touch the life-
like force of the drawings
of Ingres and Heim.

This hasty sketch, in
which I have tried to
condense a subject of from a sketch

vast proportions, may well
be concluded by an amus-
ing anecdote, which shows that Horace Vernet was
not merely an artist of genius but a man of heart.

A chasseur cTAfrique, who was posing for the La
Smala picture, recited his woes to Vernet. He
ought to have had the Cross, but it had been un-
justly withheld. The honest fellow’s trouble put
an ingenious idea in the painter’s head. He was
expecting a visit from Louis-Philippe on the morrow,
so he painted a fine and striking decoration on the
soldier’s breast. When the King arrived Horace
went up to the canvas and remarked with a touch
of regret in his voice, “ By the way, I’ve made a
mistake. I thought this soldier, who has done
splendid service, was decorated ; but I’m wrong, it
seems. It’s a pity, all the same, for that touch of
red has a capital effect where it is.”

The King took the hint.

“ Don’t brush out the Cross,” he said. “ It’s in
its proper place. I will send you a real one, which
you can present yourself to your friend.”

Armand Dayot.

We have been asked to state that Fraulein Bertha
Wegmann, concerning whom reference was made
in the article entitled “ Lady Artists in Germany,”
is a native of Copenhagen.

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