Studio: international art — 25.1902

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Italy s Private Gardens

this is a charm to those who have been dispirited T TALY'S PRIVATE GARDENS. BY
by that sacrifice of invention to an imitative display I DR. ROMUALDO PANTINI.

of excellent mechanism that detracts from the

educational value of the Royal School of Art ■*■ The period in which the Italian spirit,
Needlework in London. " Drink waters out of after a lethargy lasting nearly a thousand years,
thine own cistern," says Solomon, "and running awoke and resumed all its old energy and know-
waters out of thine own well." ledge was undoubtedly that of the Quattrocento.

To gather from fine specimens of ancient work all As the artist's hand grew more expert at tracing

the craft-knowledge that they have to teach—this, the forms and expressing the feelings of mankind,

to be sure, is an excellent thing to do ; but so the humbler worshippers of divine nature

that knowledge is not art ; to become art it turned to the plant-world, therefrom to derive

must be shown (as often as possible) in fresh new and varied forms of decoration, such as should

inventions, in new enthusiasms. Declining crafts satisfy both the purely spiritual and the material

cannot be revived by a mere imitation of their necessities of the time, and revive, even amid the

ancient processes. Most of the schools of needle- tumult of wars and internal sedition, the ancient

work fail to realise this fact. They follow the past spirit of grandeur by means of opulent gardens,

as dependents, they do not lead the present with I have thought it well to advance these general

an alert invention enriched with acquired know- considerations, because one constantly finds en-

ledge. And for this reason we have to turn to dorsed in recent French works the opinion of

the work done in Liverpool, in Glasgow, and in Burckhardt that the private houses of the Italian

other art schools, if we wish to think of to- Renaissance period were built as they were " be-

day's embroidery as a thing that lives and cause the love of fresh air was so great that people

grows, and therefore of greater interest and value preferred to expose themselves to the risks of war-

than a display of archaeology in patterns and in fare by living out of doors than to remain in safety

stitches. behind city walls." There were other reasons


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