Studio: international art — 35.1905

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Some Old Ceilings

nowadays produced by artists and decorators.
Here we feel ourselves to be in the presence of
a mature, finished art, and cannot help sharing in
the repose which characterises it. The next apart-
ment to call for notice is the boudoir, very simple
in conception—nothing blatant, nothing finicking
about it. A happy idea, from a decorative point of
view, is the introduction of some charming femi-
nine portraits, silent spectators of gossiping sisters.
No more artistic setting could have been given to
boudoir life.

Coming back to the exterior, the door panelling
arrests our attention. The front door seems to
tell us that it introduces us to an exhibition of
architectural art, at once original and grand in con-
ception. The entrances to domestic offices and
cellars are treated appropriately on original lines.
The illuminating apparatus bears witness, like
many another detail, to the artist’s concentration
upon his work, even where the object is one of
minor importance.

Looking at it as a whole, the Haus Bembe
impresses us by the bold, masterly originality mani-
fest in every part of it, and the subtle charm and
beauty with which it has been invested, showing us
as it does how utility may be combined with the
artistic to produce a satisfaction which can never
be achieved by display alone.

The saying that “ the beautifully true is the truly
beautiful ” is one which might well have emanated
from Emanuel Seidl.

Moriz Otto, Baron Lassar.


The destruction of ancient buildings
always causes grief to the lovers of antiquity.
Ruskin’s advice is sound and good. “Watch an
old building with anxious care; guard it as best
you may, and at any cost from any influence of
dilapidation. Count its stones as you would the
jewels of a crown. Set watchers about it, as if at
the gate of a besieged city ; bind it together with
iron when it loosens. Stay it with timber when
it declines. Do not care about the unsightliness
of the aid—better a crutch than a lost limb; and
do this tenderly and reverently and continually,
and many a generation will still be born and pass
away beneath its shadow.” But in spite of many
watchers with eager eyes guarding the ancient
houses of our forefathers, how many of these are
allowed to fall ! It is much to be deplored, but in
some cases it is perhaps inevitable. Antiquarian
societies can do some good in preventing the pulling
down of interesting ex-
amples of ancient archi-
tecture, but the march
of “ progress ” too often
renders their efforts void
of result. In busy centres
of commercial activity,
where modem buildings
are required for pur-
poses of trade and sites
are valuable, the pictur-
esque old houses that
sheltered our ancestors
are sooner or later
bound to disappear. City
and borough councils
are usually swayed by
utilitarian considerations,
and care little for the
priceless objects of anti-
quarian interest. They
know nothing of the
history of the precious
things they sport with,
which are entirely at their
mercy. Thus the city

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