Studio: international art — 49.1910

Page: 97
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Contemporary Japanese Painting


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which is constantly threatening the man who
allows his receptivity to become dulled, and sub-
stitutes a rigid mannerism for sensitive executive
expression. Mr. Goodwin is a master of many
methods, and whatever the medium he may be
using—he works with equal skill in oils, water-
colour and black-and-white—he manages it with
thorough understanding of its capabilities. In his
water-colours especially he shows an astonishing
variety of qualities, but this variety comes from his
sense of fitness, from his appreciation of the need
for maintaining a right relation between mechanism
and subject matter in artistic production, and not
from any uncertainty about the management of
details of craftsmanship. Indeed, uncertainty is
nowhere to be detected in his art; few artists are
so sure of themselves.


In contemporary Japanese
painting there run two conflicting
currents, the one struggling to con-
serve the methods of the old
tradition, and the other to work
out a style more in consonance
with the demands of the age. The
advocates of classicism are repre-
sented by many different cults,
such as—to enumerate those exist-
ing at the commencement of this
era—the Maruyama, the Shijo, the
Tosa, the Kano, the Kworin, and
the Chinese Schools. Of these, by
far the most influential and popu-
lar has been the Chinese School
followed by the Maruyama and
the Shijd, the rest only surviving
under the shadow of their past
reputations. In general we may
say that the chief exponents of the
Conservative or Old Schools to-day
are men of mature age, and only
in few instances are they men of
a later generation. On the other
hand, the organization of the New
School is, as yet, but tentative;
many and various methods have
been proposed and put to the test
of experiment, but the final and
satisfactory solution has so far not
been forthcoming. A little over twenty years ago
a revival of interest made itself felt in the long-
neglected field of art—long neglected because the
national mind had up to then been engrossed in
more practical affairs of life which had been pass-
ing through a great revolution under Western in-
fluences. It was then that the Japanese began to
turn their thoughts to that art which had been the
glory and pride of their forefathers, and to express
their views with eagerness on the subject. Then
there arose a cry that something different from the
art of the older schools should be invented and
that even the followers of the native and Chinese
Schools should pursue their studies with an eye
to freshness and novelty, and with a mind catholic
enough to assimilate the good qualities of Western
painting. Thus the New School came into existence.

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