Studio: international art — 20.1900

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Emil Orlik


TMIL ORLIK. BY RICHARD Descent frofo the. Cross, or lingered*in the copper-
MUTHER. plate room and admired the great Dutch wizard's

etchings. Neither Lindenschmit nor Raab, but
As yet it is not possible to say much in an Rembrandt, was to be his guide through life.

article on Emil Orlik, for he is a young artist, just
thirty years of age, seeking, learning, experimenting
in all directions, and has not yet revealed himself in
any big, definite work. But is it right to measure
the importance of an artist by the standard of the
great exhibition pictures which formerly everyone
had to paint before attaining celebrity? Surely
our taste has grown more sane and more refined
since we ceased to compel artists to useless waste
of power, since we learned to appreciate the work
which—in defiance of the sensation-hunger of
the masses—the true artist lays before us in the
form of simple drawings and unpretentious

Such is Emil Orlik—an artist who has no need
to don the gala costume of the exhibition painting,
but attracts us at once when he simply displays the
contents of his portfolio

from an etching by emil orlik

His first pictures, Der Schlafer and Die Ntiherin,
showed but little individuality. At that time a
reaction had set in against the glaring plein-air
style, and painting in dark tones was in vogue.
Everyone was trying, after painting daylight, to
reproduce the mysteries of night, and the bluish-
grey atmosphere of twilight, with the effects of gas
and lamp—in a word, to paint the semi-obscurity
of the interior. These problems, which exercised
the whole Munich School, naturally came within
the field of Orlik's studies. Later he went to
Paris, and as in Munich it was Rembrandt, so
here it was Millet, who influenced him most
permanently. He copied the Eglise de Grcville
from an etching by emil orlik —that sombre, serious painting which hangs in

the Louvre—and as he gazed on Millet he thought
of his own home.

He spent his youth in weird, old-world Prague, For this constitutes the strange greatness of
where his father was a tailor, and acquired the Millet and of Rembrandt; that an area of but a few
elements of technique at the Munich Academy, square miles sufficed to make them create master-
under Lindenschmit and Raab. But he learned pieces all their lives. They had no need to take
more from the dead than from the living, as he long journeys to collect materials for their pictures;
sat in the Pinakothek and copied Rembrandt's they drew their inspiration from the native soil.

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