Studio: international art — 28.1903

Page: 227
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heart is in touch with all

M. Geffroy, in the
deeply interesting study
accompanying the port-
folio of fine reproductions
of typical examples of
Carriere's work, justly
remarks that the French
master has avoided
the trap set for the
portrait painter, by his
rigid selection of those
he chooses to represent.
They are, with very few
exceptions, members of his
own family, his personal
friends, who as a matter
of course are in true touch
with his own noble and
refined nature, or men and
women of talent, whose
essential character he has
in every case caught with
sympathetic felicity. It is
not, however, by his
portraits, beautiful as are
those of Alphonse
Daudet, Gabriel Scailles,
Edouard de Goncourt,


and Jean Dolent, or by
such tours de force as the

easy grace the surface ot things, but incapable of celebrated Theatre de Belleville, a wonderful realisa-

any deep emotion. That this is but a superficial tion of an animated scene in artificial light, but by

judgment is proved by the work of many a master his interpretations of motherhood and childhood

of literature and art, whose productions are per- amongst the toilers of crowded cities, that Eugene

vaded by deep melancholy, a profound sense of the Carriere stands alone. His compositions of this

pathos underlying even the most favourable con- class are not only literal renderings of actual inci-

ditions. How infinitely sad, for instance, is much dents observed by him; they are poems of human

that has been written by Victor Hugo and Georges life, and will speak direct to the heart so long as

Sand, not to speak of the tragic realism of every- mother-love endures and the little ones, brought

thing from the hand of Emile Zola. What suffering into the world at the cost of so much suffering,

is expressed in Millet's scenes of peasant life, and instinctively turn to that love for protection and

how suggestive of tragedy are some of the com- solace. Never before has the infinite yearning of

positions of Bastien Lepage. The work of Eugene motherhood, the mournful passion that foresees all

Carriere is an even more striking case in point, so the stress, the toil, and pain which are in store for

deep is his insight into the stern realities of life, the loved ones in the future, been interpreted in a

and so reverently does he lift the veil shrouding manner alike so simple and so masterly. Never

the sad mysteries of the human soul from the before has art been the medium of teaching so lofty

indifferent gaze of the casual observer. His yet so unconscious, for deeply important as are the

portraits are real revelations of the inner ego of lessons conveyed, there is absolutely nothing in-

those he represents, not in their comparatively rare tentionally didactic about them. The secret of

moments of happiness, or when they are posing for their power is their absolute truth ; they haunt the

effect, but when self is forgotten and the individual memory like some sweet but melancholy refrain of

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