Studio: international art — 35.1905

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(From our Own Correspondents)

LONDON.—Judging from her work, Mrs.

Dorothy Osborn conceives London to
be altogether a pretty place to live in,
but she has an especial sentiment for
Chelsea, with its faded little shops. Perhaps
the quaintness, the lively charm, of these little
businesses is emphasised by their adjacence to the
fashionable world that is gradually encroaching
upon their territory. Everywhere the marauding
rich are erecting flats hideous enough to frighten
the invaded. One by one the little shops are
falling to the besiegers. Old-fashioned Chelsea is
disappearing, it has been disappearing for years—
and yet it remains. It must be many years before
it is entirely spoilt, but the process is in full swing.
Artists still cling to it; it seems to retain its old
charm for them. But most of the studios are

doomed; within ten years, within half-a-dozen,
many of the leases will have fallen in, and studios,
like the shops, will have to
make way for flats. Mrs.

Osborn has expressed her
attitude towards all this in
paint; and to have made
an effective protestation
shows that, artistically, she
has an effective style. The
picture of The Little Antique
Shop, in Cale Street, Chel-
sea, speaks for itself. One
feels the innate conserva-
tism of the artistic tempera-
ment in her choice of
subject—the love of what
is old and of what is in-
dividual, a mistrust of
what is new and without
individuality. An old shop
can be an old friend, and it
has an individuality all its
own. It is interesting to
find oneself arrested by the
latent aestheticism shown
by the poor people who de-
corate its windows. Many
of these windows are works
of art; and, as with true
works of art, their perfec-
tion has been arrived at
in a sub-conscious manner.

There is all the difference
between the individual note

in their decoration and the decorated windows
of the Stores. These little windows strike the
personal note that is more valuable than any-
thing else in all art, and not in vain. Whistler
was inspired by them, though the shopkeeper,
busy within, was all unconscious that his arrange-
ment was helping a great Master. So the shop-
keeper’s usefulness has its flower in art, as
everything flowers somewhere, defying all attempts
to arrange or order the beauty which life cannot

Many artists have been fascinated by this
kind of subject, amongst them Francis James.
In some things Mrs. Osborn’s work recalls that
painter’s methods. The sensitively feminine and
delicate execution of her work must spring, how-
ever, from a fresh and spontaneous view of things.
Her colour is restrained and truthful, and she does
not lose an intimate sense of the shapes of the
bric-a-brac that, brought together, form her scheme


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