Studio: international art — 15.1899

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1 cm
Modern German Lithography

already worked out is demanded, constant reference
to this worked-out idea must go on, and the more
faithfully this is carried out the more certainly will
a dead repetition of work already done be arrived
at. But if a new image is allowed to spring up in
the mind, the effort to realise it by trials in the
materials will develop it and suggest other ideas,
and a host of new possibilities will come into view.
Granted there be the taste and knowledge necessary
to execute a correct rendering of other works, the
same would carry through a new idea, if the
elaborative method be adopted. This was how all
old work came into being unquestionably, and
our posterity will mock our present day efforts to
execute over again the developments of other days.
Old work was not produced by repeating work
done before—but to-day there is not a craft in
which such repeat work is not commonly demanded.
Mr. Heaton, for instance, has been asked in England
in the space of two years or so to execute work in
Japanese, Pompeian, early Irish, fifteenth-century
English, thirteenth-century English, and Italian
Renaissance ! While knowing intimately the works
of craftsmen in the past, while sympathetically
studying everything available, the imposition of
ideas so mutually destructive produced weariness.
But the experience of the development of a personal
line of work produces enjoyment. The labour
involved in working in several materials is not so
great as the incessant archeological hunting of
" precedent" to be used, and every material handled
stimulates the imagination and suggests ideas. The
one course then produces artists, and the other
tends to kill them and makes the whole thing a
" business." It must be so : for if one has to do a
piece of Renaissance here and a morsel of Early
English there, interest is lost in both, and one
must spend time in running about to get more little
pieces and to museums to get more ideas.

The workshop which has come into existence as
the result of the work at Neuchatel is a demons-
tration of what can be done with very limited
means, and how various materials can be worked
side by side. The rich flora of the Swiss moun-
tains offers an inexhaustible field of suggestive
forms, and the occasions for the study of colour in
lake and cliff are innumerable. It is now pro-
posed to continue the endeavour and to express
some of the ideas so gleaned. But it is difficult
to secure continuity, for it cannot be hoped that
important monumental works will follow in un-
interrupted stream; therefore work suited to a more
every-day use will not be neglected. The relief
work in paper has been put on a regular footing,

for instance, and some smaller works executed in
cloisonne. Not only the forms, but the colour also
is such as is suggested by an observant attention of
nature around, and the freshness of the forest may
thus be introduced into the homes of busy cities.
Relief work in copper and other metals, both for
decoration of buildings and independent objects,
will be taken in hand also.*



The inventor and most of the early professors of
lithography were wont to dwell upon the ease with
which the new art could be practised, and deemed
this a great recommendation in its favour. They
proclaimed that it was now possible to engrave with-
out the trouble of mastering any of the difficult
techniques of engraving; that any artist, in fact,
could lithograph at once, and that this art achieved
all that the other arts aimed at, only much more
quickly and much more cheaply.

It was mal a propos to call attention to the lack
of difficulty with which one may lithograph, as it
was also unfortunate that Senefelder and the rest
laid so much stress upon the circumstance that litho-
graphy could be used as an alternative for engrav-
ing, etching, wood-cutting, &c. This, no doubt,
made men satisfied with practising the easy imita-
tive method ; no one so much as suggested the
elaborative style peculiar to lithography alone.
Thus the improvements that came to pass consisted
mostly in refinements of the printing process, not
in new methods of handling attempted by the
draughtsman. The stereotype method of producing
a crayon drawing, without any distinctive features
to show that it had been made on stone rather than
on paper, necessarily caused lithography to degene-
rate in a way that seems almost incomprehensible
to us to-day.

* Since the above description was written, the remainder
of the work at Neuchatel has been executed, and a view
showing the panels with the paper relief and the dado with
the enamelled copper is appended. Three other works have
also been arranged for, of which the first two are in execution,
i.e., a large panel for the exterior of Berne historical museum,
designed by M. Paul Robert; the heraldry of the twenty-two
cantons and the confederation for the large exterior cornice
of the Palais Federal at Berne, in mosaics, designed by
Clement Heaton. The other work being very large, it has
been necessary to start a glass-mosaic studio for the execution
of the three.
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