Studio: international art — 28.1903

Page: 304
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https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/studio1903a/0316
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Reviews

in the direction of applied art, cannot be denied;
but it is equally true that she still remains lament-
ably behind the rest of Europe in the decorative
illustration of books. The designs interspersed in
the text of Freiherr von Miindhaufen's poems, the
keynote of which is melancholy, though they are
well-drawn and full of character, are greatly want-
ing in beauty, and the sharply-defined outlines
against the heavy masses of black are far from
pleasing. Some of the borders to the pages are,
however, charming, especially those with a floral
motive ; but the one with the heads of typical Jews
has a very unsatisfactory effect, and the symbolical
candlestick of the frontispiece has eight instead
of seven branches.

Autcncr dtt Lac Leman. By Guillaume Fatio.
With Illustrations by Frederic Boissonnais.
(Geneva.)—Some twenty years ago a book of
this description would have appealed to a com-
paratively small circle of readers, but the greatly
increased facilities of travel in the present day
have added largely to the numbers of those
able to appreciate its merits. M. Fatio is a man
of wide culture, well-known as a writer, and in
this new work he gives a very graphic account
of a most enjoyable trip round the Lake of Geneva,
supplementing his own experiences by an historic
account of all the places visited, and by many
fine photographs taken by M. Boissonnais, the
whole giving a very vivid picture of what is still
one of the most beautiful districts in Europe.

Die Ausstellung der Darmstadter Kiinstler
Kolonie. (Darmstadt: Alexander Koch.)—Con-
trasted with illustrated Catalogues, such as those
of the National Portrait Gallery and the Fitz-
William Museum at Cambridge, with the beauti-
fully-got-up mementoes of ephemeral exhibitions,
such as the two volumes recently issued by Messrs.
Maclehose, of Glasgow,* this Document Deutscher
Kunst appears heavy and uninteresting. It con-
tains, it is true, a great variety of information, and
reproductions of all sorts and conditions of art
work; but it resembles too much a collection of
trade advertisements, for the editor has not exer-
cised sufficient care in selection, and seems to have
feared to give offence by the exclusion of inferior
work. The masterpieces of such men as Ludwig
Halich, Paul Burck, J. M. Olbrich, and Hans
Christiansen might well have been accorded more
space, by the omission of such painful examples of
bad taste as the series of designs for a tavern wine-
list and certain uninteresting Interiors with their
commonplace furniture.

* " Nineteenth Century Art " and " Scottish Life and History."

3°4

The Book of Romance. Edited by Andrew
Lang. (London : Longmans, Green & Co.).—
In his preiace to this well-selected collection of
Old World Romances the scholarly editor gives
a very interesting explanation of the evolution of
popular legend, quoting in confirmation of his
conclusions a quaint negro story called " Dicey and
Orpus," which might well have been founded on
the classic myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, although
it undoubtedly originated in Dixie Land. The
various stories in the book itself are very graphic-
ally told, and the illustrations by Mr. Henry Ford
are poetic in feeling. The coloured plates of
" Arthur meeting the Lady 01 the Lake," and " Sir
Launcelot bringing Guinevere to Arthur" are
especially fine, and many of the black-and-white
designs are almost epic in their combined dignity
and simplicity. "Gareth and Lynette," "Elaine
tying her sleeve round Sir Launcelot's helmet,"
and "Roland winding his Horn in the Valley of
Roncesvalles" are very noteworthy renderings of
typical incidents ; but the " Merlin and Vivien " is
poor, and the story it illustrates would have been
better omitted in a book for young people.

Architecture, Industry, and Wealth. Collected
Papers. By William Morris. (London : Long-
mans, Green & Co.) Price 6s. net.—Mr. William
Morris wrote English of so charming a kind that
one can read him with pleasure, even when one has
least patience with his dogmatising and his some-
what querulous method of controversy. There is
a great deal of Socialism in these collected papers,
and the conclusion which we are invited to draw
from them is that, until "we have Socialism, we shall
have no real art. We shall not attempt here to
discuss a theory round which quite a literature has
already grown. The subject has become more
than a little tiresome, though Mr. William Morris
nearly always saved it from being tedious by the
gift of terse and nervous prose to which we have
already alluded. Mr. Morris was not one of those
who ostentatiously flaunted the flag of style, but it
was natural to him to write simple and graphic,
and therefore valuable, English. When Mr. Morris
writes of the technics of various arts and crafts,
his immense personal experience entitles him to be
listened to as one having authority. When he
theorises, the case is different. So emphatic and
enthusiastic was his nature, that, in argument, he
displays anything but a sweet reasonableness. On
p. 211 there is an allusion to the Law Courts in the
Strand. They are described as " reasonable and
beautiful." If it were not for the context one
would assume that this was a touch of sarcasm.
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