Studio: international art — 17.1899

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Reviews of Recent Publications

was a charming subject by Mrs. Boyd, delicately
and effectively treated.


English Contemporary A?-t. Translated from
the French of Robert de la Sizeranne, by H. M.
Poynter. (Westminster : Archibald Constable and
Co.)—M. Robert de la Sizeranne’s study of English
contemporary art is really little more than a study
of the methods and characteristics of the pre-
Raphaelite brotherhood, and the painters who,
before the advent of Mr. Byam Shaw, were gene-
rally styled the neo-pre-Raphaelites—Burne-Jones,
Walter Crane, and Strudwick. Landscape art in
England is only mentioned to be dismissed. Pos-
sibly M. de la Sizeranne holds that La Thangue is
merely an English variant of Bastien Lepage,
Peppercorn of Corot, the Glasgow men of New
Salon art, and so on throughout the list. It might
be just to take this view were it possible to main-
tain that the germ of all French art was evolved on
French soil, whereas it is notorious that modern
French landscape art had an English origin. But
this is not. all. M. de la Sizeranne apparently
ignores all English painters other than the dozen
or so who supply material for his treatise, from
which it will be seen that, however ingenious and
amusing M. de la Sizeranne may be, he is not to
be taken as a safe guide by persons approach-
ing his book in all the good faith of ignorance.
The English reader must be warned not to allow
his national vanity to be tickled by this adroit
flatterer. If he does a worse thing will befall
him. The book consists of upwards of three
hundred pages, and these, until we are nearing
the last page, are full of the most gratifying
praise—gratifying from the national point of view
that is to say—of that limited portion of our
painters M. de la Sizeranne alone sees fit to recog-
nise. Individual talent one would imagine was
scarcely to be sought anywhere but in London.
Presently he lets us fall with a thud. He grants us
almost everything only to tell us that it availeth us
nothing without colour. That the particular charge
has at least as much truth in it as the previous
praise need not be denied; but herein lies the error
of writing on English contemporary art and ignor-
ing the best side of it—landscape art. M. de la
Sizeranne ascribes our insusceptibility to delicate
colour sensations to the fogs and mists which en-
velop our land. And yet the finest landscape art
the world possesses came and comes from the

men who habitually painted and paint where nature
is always under the influence of mist. Either in
its direct manifestations, or in the beautiful variety
this atmospheric moisture gives to greens and greys,
these despised fogs and mists are indirectly respon-
sible for the most alluring colour-schemes ever
seen on canvas. But our failure to become great
painters is ascribed to another cause —our inalien-
able vice of painting with a purpose. The truth
is out at last, and we find that our old friend, this
hateful purpose in art, is the real bugbear M. de
la Sizeranne has armed himself to encounter. It
will be seen from this attempt to convey in a few
words the general trend of M. de la Sizeranne’s
book, that although it is a singularly stimulating
treatise, bristling with controversial matter and
abounding in ingeniously deducted argument, it is
not a work to be taken seriously.

Handbuch der Anatomie der Tiere fiir Kunstler.
Von Prof. Dr. W. Ellenberger, Prof. .Dr. Baum,
und Maler Hermann Dittrich. (Leipzig:
Dieterisch’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, T. Weicher.)
—A series of anatomical diagrams of animals,
which will be useful, especially to artists in black-
and-white. Parts I. and II. deal with the cow and
the horse respectively, and each contains eight
plates, with about thirty diagrams and explanatory
text. The series is to include most of the best-
known types; and, as the illustrations are quite
good and well chosen, it will when complete make
a valuable addition to any technical reference

The Stones of Venice. By John Ruskin.
The new edition in small form. Three volumes.
With illustrations drawn by the author. (London :
George Allen.) 1898.—The present reprint of one
of the greatest art books of the century will be
welcome to a vast number of persons who by no
means share the conclusions of the author. Venice
has had many lovers, but few have understood the
Queen of the Adriatic better than Mr. Ruskin, and
for this reason anything which he writes upon a
subject which has so completely engrossed and
fascinated him is of permanent importance. The
prohibitive price of the earlier editions of this work
has hitherto prevented many earnest students from
obtaining it and perusing it at their leisure. The
new edition, which contains all the original illus-
trations, has been published at a price which will
bring it within the reach of all. Mr. George Allen
is sincerely to be congratulated on the enterprise
which he has shown in its production. Mr. Ruskin
himself could find little fault with the get-up of the
volumes before us, and the splendid index with

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