Studio: international art — 14.1898

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P. J. Billinghurst

I might have illustrated “ line ” by some abstract
of landscape from the hand of Titian. I might
have illustrated it by a drawing of Raphael; by a
study aux trois crayons from the hand of Watteau,
by a reproduction of a Demarteau print by Boucher,
by an etching of Whistler. I chose, however, as
has been said already, a Rembrandt landscape.
The simple etching, Six's Bridge, might have been
employed, or the long suavity and vast expanse of
the estate of Uytenbogaert—The GoldweigheSs
Field. But I preferred again a simple pen drawing—
that would compare more fairly with the modern
work we were to have in any case, and would
assert (as well as the Goldweigher's Field itself, or

the Landscape with a Tower) above all claims of
modern cleverness, the inalienable claim of Style.
So the photographer has been bidden to reproduce
for us the pen drawing described at the Museum
as Latidscape with Road beside a Canal. Often by
Rembrandt, as by another master, a little wash is
employed, to give a space of shadow or to perform
some modelling. But this is “ line ” unmixed—
line pure and definite—nor do I know the master
of our day to whom it may not administer a lesson.
Notice its easy, its seemingly almost unconscious
inclusion of so many a fact. And its unity, too, and
its charm ! A brief bridge spans a ditch between the
main road and a close, of orchard or of pasture land,
with its high gate. Trees edge
the way. Into the immense
distance the road goes straight
upon its course. There is an
endless vista. Simplification
of fact can scarcely, I suppose,
be carried farther, nor can fact
on fact be presented more con-
vincingly, in a scene which, to
endow it with an interest so
enduring, required a great
vision as well as a great hand.
To amateur, as well as to prac-
tising artist or to youthful
student, a group gathered ,
together, as is ours for this
article, from many diverse
schools, and in full sympathy
with different methods, should
teach the inutility of sacrific-
ing, in any draughtsmanship,
for the attainment of any other
aim, the expressiveness of the
selected line, learnedly chosen,
and when chosen, economi-
cally and firmly laid.

Frederick Wedmore.





It would be convenient,
especially to those afflicted
with an unquenchable desire
to classify things in general,
if the etiquette of criticism
permitted living artists to be
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