Studio: international art — 44.1908

Page: 215
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The Hessian National Exhibition at Darmstadt

The hessian



a flower is, and can only be, the starting-point of an
ornament. The artist has to transform, to give
style thereto. One would think it superfluous to
keep repeating this truism, were it not that one sees
so many artists deceiving themselves grossly on
this point. For the most part, they are content to
take some vegetable subject, no matter what; the
pine cone, for example, which flourishes abundantly
this year, and use it either for the inlaying of a
piece of furniture, the carving of a silver platter, or
for the ornamentation of a porcelain vase. Hence
the large number of uninteresting things in the
Salon ; hence the cause of the decorative art move-
ment in France remaining stationary.

I must not conclude this brief summary without
making reference to the exhibits at the Nationale
of Madame Rey-Rochat de The'ollier, worthy pupil
of Grasset, whose decorative friezes are excellently
sty/istes, and to the case of jewellery by the lamented
Bojidar Karageorgevitch. Henri Frantz.

The second of the two hand-mirrors illustrated
on page 60 of our June number should, like the
other, have been ascribed to Miss Florence Steele,
and not to Mrs. Dick.

Darmstadt has, for the
third time, opened the
grounds and garden terraces
of the Mathildenhohe to
the public for a modern
display of fine and applied
art, for such is what the
Hessische Landesausstel-
lung fur Freie und Ange-
wandte Kunst proclaims
itself to be. The tendency
to bring art into touch with
life, to blend both into a
new harmony, may be said
to be prevalent throughout
modern Germany. But,
practically speaking, the
little Hessian “Residenz,”
formerly so quiet and so
quaint, was the first place
where this modern tendency
found a footing under con-
by wiuiam lee ditions at once-novel and
traditional. They were
novel, inasmuch as means have been provided
and land granted upon which a colony of in-
dependent artists might be free to erect their
homes and their studios or “ Lehr-ateliers ”; and
traditional in the nobler sense of the word, inas-
much as the money subsidised came from a royal
spring, and the men belonging to the “ Kiinstler-
kolonie,” though, artistically speaking, their own
law-givers and working according to their personal
convictions, are, as a body, under the patronage of
the Grand Duke of Hesse.

It may be said without hesitation that among
our German aristocracy bred to the sword of
national defence, you do not frequently meet with
a man of true artistic temperament and the tastes
of a connoisseur. The exceptions to this rule are
rarer nowadays than in bygone centuries. It
would seem as though the present generation had
found too little time to dwell upon ideas that
afford leisure and culture in domestic and public
life. It is, therefore, with a sense of profound
satisfaction that one may witness in Darmstadt
something like a renaissance. The city is fortu-
nate in having a royal patron of the arts who
counts as the chief of his privileges that of en-
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