Studio: international art — 36.1906

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1 cm
John Hassall

Slight chalk drawing in portraiture has been
done in all times, with Holbein as the foremost
master ; but I think nothing has quite equalled
Lenbach’s work in this method when at his best.

Lenbach’s sense of beauty was a strong feature
in his work. Maybe it was not the sense of
beauty an Englishman would like. He looked
for a picturesque aspect, rather than the “lady”
in his sitter; and in England the “ lady ” is the
thing to secure in a portrait of a woman ! Menzel,
with all his greatness, never was interested in a
beautiful face—nor could he draw it. He told me
himself, “ there was nothing going on in a pretty
face worth drawing ”—a very odd confession of
his incapacity to see beauty. Menzel, curiously
enough, complained of Lenbach’s want (to his
mind) of drawing. Most interesting was it to
hear Lenbach express himself to me about Menzel.
He said, “ I quarrelled years ago with Menzel,
because he criticises like a shoemaker.” I would
not mention these mutual criticisms of two remark-
able artists here if they had not been uttered
to me.

I can only conclude my critical, and I hope
appreciative, impression of Lenbach by saying:
Er war ein grosser Geist !

The posters, paintings, and


Having once accepted the truth that there is no
meanness in the art which is put to the humble
uses of advertisement if there is no meanness in
its execution, we look for the walls of our streets to
be touched with inspiration; whether singing the
praises of this or that new ware, or luring the
charmed spectator towards excessive cigarette
smoking. Mr. Hassall makes a fine poster with
considerable ease; he has the instinct for decora-
tion, for putting a thing on show. Turning the
corner of a street, one is faced with a picture of a
fair field of yellow mustard waving in the wind,
and mustard afterwards becomes for one a thing to
be desired and lived for from meal to meal. There
are the pictures of princesses going to pantomimes,
and those others of flunkies hurrying with the much-
desired sauces from table to table, which con-
tribute to the beauties of the street. The City for
years has accumulated these pictures, so that our
walks there have always held for us fresh surprises.
Disobliging people still refuse to leave their houses
that they may be broken up and hoardings put there

“ siesta


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