Studio: international art — 28.1903

Page: 21
DOI issue: DOI article: DOI Page: Citation link: 
https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/studio1903a/0033
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A Young Sculptor

when his modelling is heavy and lumpy, but this be called The Drunkard's Wife ; and, again, remark
defect of inexperience will pass away, and the the humour in the Boy Cutting a Stick. The knife
assured strength will remain. In one group, The is blunt, and the moment for bad temper has not
Blind Girl, there is some disunion between the yet come ; but you may see by the lad's face that
figures, for while the blind girl herself is in it is coming, and that a curt word or two will soon
repose, the boy against whom she leans walks be a relief.

forward. This troubles the whole purpose of the Then, as regards the general character of the

work of Mr. Wells, it is all the more
welcome on account of its rarity among
English artists, for the English genius,
when it has dealt with rustic subjects,
has ever had a great tendency to be
idyllic. Morland and Ibbetson, no
doubt, had a true feeling for rusticity,
but their art suffered from the lives
they led and never reached maturity.
Rowlandson, though usually known as
a caricaturist, is a better rustic than
either Ibbetson or Morland. He made
some admirable drawings of the English
peasantry, and it is with the Rowlandson
of these drawings that we feel tempted
to associate Mr. Wells. They differ much
in feeling, it is true, and yet they are
kinsmen, thanks to their frank manliness
and to their weight of style. Their work,
too, recalls to memory the essential aim
and purpose of Millet's art, which Millet
himself describes when he says that he
desires the women and men whom he
represents "to have an air of being bound
to their position, so that it should be
impossible to imagine them as having an
idea of being anything different." In
other words, Millet's aim was to represent
true peasants, bound by their whole
natures to the soil; and it is precisely
such true peasants that Rowlandson
" peasant woman and child " by Reginald f. wells makes real in many of his drawings, and

(By permission of Mr. E. Van Wissettngh) that Mr. Wells models for us in his

statuettes. But the affinity between Mr.
Wells and Rowlandson is one, so to speak,
design and weakens the effect of the truthful and of distant cousinship, whereas that between Mr.
rugged pathos. But if Mr. Wells invites criticism 'Wells and Millet is of a closer and more fraternal
here and there, he is none the less a true artist and kind. They are brothers in rustic art, these two, as
a gifted young sculptor. His statuettes never Scott and Dumas were brothers in the realm of
seem too small or too large; his feeling for scale heroic romance. Dumas owed something to Scott,
and for weight of style has an impressive originality, Mr. Wells owes something to Millet; but this does
and his subjects are already varied in their range not account for their brotherhood of temperament
of observation and sentiment. Motherhood and and genius. Some have spoken of Mr. Wells as
childhood are admirably represented, as in the the English Millet of sculpture, and the phrase
Peasant Madonna, the best group that Mr. Wells seems apposite enough.

has yet produced. There is something tragic in Perhaps the only real drawback to the modelling
the Peasant Woman and Child, which might well of statuettes is the difficulty of making the art
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