Studio: international art — 59.1913

Page: 176
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James Wilson Morrice

Lacking the force of Mr. Orpen, the wonderful
richness of Mr. Nicholson, and the vividness of
paint so characteristic of Mr. Peploe in his earlier
work, Mr. Adam possesses a delicacy and sensitive-
ness of handling which give him a leading place
among contemporary “interior” painters. The air
of refinement, the versatility in variety, the unerring
sense of mass and atmosphere, the fine tonality, the
subtle colour contrasts, and the masterly perspective
all combine to put him out of the common rut
of recording craftsmen in colour. With a fine grasp
of essentials, a supersensitive distaste for the bizarre
and the vulgar, he calls to our esteem with a
note of intimacy that is not merely an appeal to our
sense of recognition. Keenly alive to the difference
between a landscape and an interior, he treats the
latter with as much reverence for light and atmo-
sphere as the former. He has no ambition to be
“ grand ” like Orchardson. To use a literary com-
parison, he is more of a lyrist than a writer of odes,
and as such he has gained a place for himself
among the men who count in the art world of to-day.


Poetic expression in pictorial art is at-
tained through the resources of the imagination or
through interpretative feeling. In the first case
poetry is conveyed by direct, in the second by
indirect means. One form of poetic expression
is a corollary to the creative spirit, the other to
the sensibility. Where one artist will make a new
world for himself, the feeling which another im-
parts to familiar scenes and themes raises them
out of the commonplace and justifies their en-
rolment among works of art. The two types of
poetic expression as revealed by painters are found,
the one in a Gustave Moreau, the other in a
Whistler, for instance.

Although a painter is not necessarily a great
artist—in the broad sense of the term—an
artist is not necessarily a good painter. The
painter is not only made, he is also born, and the
craftsman’s natural gifts and acquired science are



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