Studio: international art — 28.1903

Page: 226
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has executed, face to face with the natural
beauty and grandeur of his native land, might
worthily find a place side by side with the
best of those of his contemporaries, but by a
jealous caprice on the part of the artist the public
is deprived of the view of these interesting docu-
ments. Indeed, if we mistake not, this painter has
never exhibited his numerous and really valuable
studies, so little is he disposed to display the con-
tents of his portfolios. And yet what interest such
or such a sketch for his masterly La Nativite, or his
finely conceived and executed Repose of the Poet,
would have for lovers of genuine artistic effort.
M. Ravel's compositions are different from works
which are the fruit of purely subjective talent, in
that they remain in permanent contact with Nature.
Perhaps we may find in this fact the cause of their
variety. " Aiming above all at truth and directness,"
he says, "I never lose myself in the pursuit of dreams,
unrealisable in their abstraction." " Nature never
repeats herself, she is the perennial source of artis-
tic invention. In the effort to imagine all things
the creative faculty of the most fertile artistic
brain is quickly exhausted." And yet if this
artist gains his inspiration direct from Nature, it

is none the less true that he brings a vivid artistic
individuality to the interpretation of what she has
to say to him. Though he is little inclined to
pursue dreams, he has the gift of disengaging the
ideal as well as the real signification of the land-
scape and life of his native land. He has felt the
poetry of these things and he makes us feel it.
In some of his compositions he has shown us with
singular power how Alpine landscape lends itself
to the setting off and interpretation of certain con-
ceptions drawn from religion and classical lore.

Mr. Ravel is a Genevese, and one of the art
schools of his native city is fortunate enough to
possess him as its director. The work he has
accomplished in this capacity, the results of his
teaching, would not be without very real interest
to readers of The Studio, and we hope at some
future time to be able to refer at length to it.


ECEuvre de Eugene Carriere. By Gustav
Geffroy. (Paris: H. Piazza.)—It has long been a
very generally received opinion that the French
are a light-hearted, frivolous race, skimming with



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