Studio: international art — 26.1902

Page: 83
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Eric Pape


A certain nervous susceptibility and a facile
activity are perhaps the qualities which imbue Mr.
Eric Pape with so many expressions of his art.
Most artists come to be known by the character of
work which is either a matter of inclination to
them, or the easier or more characteristic expres-
sion. Very often it is the territory of their limitation,
and within its boundaries successes may bud and
blossom, but outside the result is sterile and arid.
Mr. Pape has set for himself no limitation, no place
apart on the map of art; he has gone his way in
his short career, covering a great deal of ground, it
is true, and has apparently found all regions respon-
sive, and nothing quite alien to his touch. His
first recognition came through genre work, and at
the same time, in peculiar contrast, through some
deeply philosophic paintings. Since then he has
made an independent career as an illustrator, and

has kept pace with landscape painting and work in
which character sounds the keynote. These works
of his, then, it would seem, are the variant of a
nervous sensitiveness which is apparent throughout.
In going over the record of his drawings, studies,
and paintings, one seems to see in them climatic
conditions and typical influences. Bigness, the
essential bigness of what is typical—and when it
comes to Nature, cosmic in its comprehensiveness
—is the idea that seems dominant. After that
one gets successively the impressions of poetic
perception and a certain barbaric splendour and
incisiveness of attack — a luxuriance of concep-
tion with a desire to put it forth in intensity and
succinctness. Mr. Pape was born in California,
where the bigness of Nature might have a great
deal to do with the temperament of an artist and
the restless ambition of the conscious individual.
For it must be known that no child possessed of
any extraordinary talent is allowed to blush unseen
in the United States, where precocity is not un-
common, and youngsters are brought up quite as

"grey day off wheeler's point"
XXVI. No. 112.—July, 1902.


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