Studio: international art — 42.1908

Page: 168
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Reviews and Notices

from the Italian by J. E. C. Eaton. (London :
T. Fisher Unwin.) 215.net.—Probably nine out
of ten people who take up this book will utter the
exclamation with which Sgr. de Amicis begins his
introduction—"A whole book about a mountain!"
—and a bulky book too with its three hundred odd
pages of letterpress and about three dozen plates,
some printed on cardboard and mounted. But it
is a well-printed book, and once having begun to
read, it is difficult to know when to leave off, and
by the time the end is reached one feels with
Sgr. de Amicis that the work is all too short.
From the very first page, where the author sum-
mons up a vision of the process by which this
mountain received from the Creator its wondrous
form, down to the last, where he concludes a
thrilling narrative of a perilous ascent which he
undertook by way of the terrible Furggen ridge
some eight years ago, every page has its fascina-
tion. The author has the gift of fluent and vivid lan-
guage, whether he is describing the majestic scenery
of the Alps or whether he is recording the sensa-
tions experienced in his daring exploits—especially,
for instance, where he gives an account of his first
ascent of the Matterhorn, and again where he
narrates his ascent by the Furggen ridge just
mentioned. No better characterisation of the
book can be given than that which we find in the
Introduction—it is " a treasure of knowledge, of
observations, and of ideas, only to be found in
those books that are the spontaneous product of a
great passion and of long experience, the intellec-
tual offspring of a man's whole life." The illustra-
tions are both numerous and excellent: some of
them are reproduced from drawings by Edoardo
Rubino, in black-and-white on a greenish-grey
ground, others are pen-sketches by the same artist,
and there are about a dozen capital photographs,
which we presume were taken by the author him-
self—he is of course well known as an accom-
plished photographer.

The Keramic Gallery. By William Chaffers.
Second edition, revised and edited by H. M.
Cundall, I.S.O., F.S.A. (London: Gibbings &
Co.) 3 5j. net.—The first edition of this work,
published over thirty years ago in two volumes as
a pictorial supplementto the well-known "Marksand
Monograms on Pottery and Porcelain," by the same
author, has long been out of print, and copies have
fetched prices far beyond that at which it was pub-
lished (four guineas). In this edition the illustra-
tions were printed by the Woodbury process, and had
in consequence to be separated from the text. In
the present edition they have been reproduced by
168

the half-tone process, and are inserted with the
letterpress referring to them—a much more con-
venient arrangement. It has been found possible
also, notwithstanding the inclusion of a hundred
additional illustrations from important collections,
to make one volume serve in place of the two
bulky ones which were required for the first edition,
and as this one volume is not inconveniently large,
the usefulness of the work is increased. The
letterpress remains practically the same as it was
left by Mr. Chaffers.

The Santuario of the Madonna di Vico. By
L. Melano Rossi. (London: Macmillan). £i is.
net.—Amongst the examples of Italian Renaissance
architecture that still remain much what they were
when first completed, none is more truly charac-
teristic than the so-called Pantheon of Charles
Emanuel of Savoy that, with its noble dome, the
fourth largest and most beautiful in the world, and
its towers with tapering spires grouped around its
central feature, gives at first sight an extraordinary
impression of vastness, dignity, and originality.
Yet, in spite of its unique beauty, this grand sur-
vival of the golden age is scarcely known outside
its immediate environment, being scarcely ever
alluded to in works of reference, and even in local
literature being very inadequately described. It is
due to the energy of the accomplished scholar Signor
Rossi that the unjust oblivion into which the beauti-
ful Temple of Peace, as its founder called the sanc-
tuary, is now a thing of the past, and all who are
interested in architecture and the decorative arts,
or in the political and religious history of Italy,
owe to him a deep debt of gratitude for the
unwearying patience with which he has collected in-
formation on his important subject, the number
and beauty of the illustrations supplementing his
text, and the clearness with which he has told
the whole story of the evolution of the building.
The corner-stone of the present Santuario, which
replaces an ancient shrine sacred to a wonder-
working image of the Virgin, was laid with much
pomp on July 7th, 1596, in the presence of the
duke and a vast concourse of ecclesiastical digni-
taries and enthusiastic spectators, and in telling the
later story of the building Signor Rossi dwells on the
fact that Charles Emanuel, with the astuteness that
characterised him, managed to skilfully reconcile his
own advanced religious opinions with the superstii ious
hallucinations of his subjects, adding, '.'he longed
to see the worship of the Madonna leading up to that
of the Italy which did not then exist but which was to
be created." It is significant of this attitude on the
part of the duke that he chose the Renaissance
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