Studio: international art — 51.1911

Page: 119
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Bruno Liljefors

and realistic principles. Like the Japanese painter of
the olden school, who spent a great deal of thought
upon his subject before he even put a single line
upon the paper, so the sculptor in wood in early
Japan pondered over each stroke of his chisel. In
many of the temples in Japan there are Buddhist
images of the work of Ilto-sanrai, in the production
of which the sculptor is said to have bowed in rever-
ence three times between each stroke of the chisel,
so filled was he with the spirit of the subject.

The harmonizing of these two distinct ideals
does not appear so difficult a task as that of the
painters. Some are quite satisfied even with the
present works of such as Takamura Koun, Yama-
zaki Choun, and Yonehara Unkai, declaring that
they include the best of the Western ideal with the
best of the inherited spirit of the East. There
are others who entertain fears about the future of
our glyptic art, thinking that a time may come
when the European method will overshadow the
best in Japanese. However that may be, it is the
mission of those in whose hand the future is
placed to see that their product must not lose the
vital touch of the Japanese —■ that their articles
be stamped with their true ethnic characteristics.
Whatever they do, their work must always have a
true and full expression of that peculiarly artistic
sentiment, imbued with a spirit distinctly Japanese,
which will differentiate Oriental art from that of
the West. Japanese art must remain Japanese in
order that it may hold its own and contribute
something towards the art of the world.

Jiro Harada.

Bruno liljefors. a


Although not more than three years have
elapsed since Mr. Brochner wrote in the pages of
this magazine an article on Bruno Liljefors, the
Swedish “ Sportsman-Painter,” as he was so aptly
described, I do not feel that any apology is needed
for returning again to the subject, in view of the
signal importance of the man and his work. Espe-
cially to the British public, with its deep-rooted
traditions of the chase and of open-air life,
Liljefors ought to be a painter of the right dis-
position, stimulating and interesting, arousing
sensations and memories which supplement and
enhance the purely artistic enjoyment which, if I
am not mistaken, the British find it so difficult to
dispense with.

As a painter of animal life, Bruno Liljefors is
among the few great ones. If he should be men-
tioned together with any others, it would be
names such as Pisanello, Rubens, and his suc-
cessors Landseer and Troyon. But even among
them he takes a place of his own, and can hardly
be compared with any, so absolutely original is his
choice of subject and his treatment thereof. He
does not confine himself to the tame domestic
animals, the companions of man, easy of access
and easy to study. As far as I know, he has
never painted a horse, and only exceptionally the
dog, with which he is, nevertheless, exceedingly
well acquainted. As to cattle, I suspect that he

“the panther’s skin” (ducks among the reeds)

(In the Ernest Thiel Collection, Stockholm)


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