Studio: international art — 60.1914

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Reviews and Notices

ful with his prints in the last National Competition,
though he had only taken up wood-engraving a
short time previously, and had only the spare time
left over from his occupation as a school teacher to
pursue his art studies. S. R.


Charles Conder. By Frank Gibson. (London :
John Lane.) 21s. net.—Mr. Frank Gibson’s essay
on the life and work of Charles Conder has ap-
peared just at the right moment—when, owing to
the growth of movements expressed in violent
terms of form and colour, the delicate twilight art
of Conder is in danger of being for the moment
undervalued. That artist was so perfectly the
type of a great painter that his art reflected the
mood of his time intimately, and in the valuable
record of his achievement which the copious illus-
tration of this volume affords, we are reminded
that in this country the needle first pointed in the
direction which things are now taking with the
newest schools in the few pieces in oil which
Conder executed just before his final illness. We
remember the complete change that took place in
his art after a visit to Spain towards the end of his
life, and an exhibition held at the Leicester Gallery
of larger work, containing such pictures as The
Blue Sofa, illustrated in this volume. These
would be much better understood to-day, in the
light of recent developments, than they were in his
own time. In many of those works it seemed to
us, though on the large scale his imperfect training
in draughtsmanship showed disastrously, there was
the expression of a greater Conder than ever ap-
peared in the delicate fantasies on silk for which
he was so famous. In the later canvases he turned
to actuality, and his realism was coloured by the
highly imaginative mind which he possessed. On
the bigger scale, too, the immense resources of his
colour were revealed. As a colourist he will per-
haps come to be recognised among the greatest of
the English school. In temperament his work
showed a marked affinity to that of Beardsley, and
it is interesting in this connection to mention,
what Mr. Gibson has omitted to record, that one
of the most fascinating examples of the art of
writing “words to pictures” was penned by
Beardsley’s sister Mabel to Conder’s paintings in
Mr. Herbert Vivian’s ephemeral periodical, “The
Rambler.” Mr. Gibson’s account of Conder’s
artistic development is singularly interesting. The
biography is not exhaustive, but it is intimate
and sympathetic, and in its equitable tone will

serve to perpetuate the memory of the artist
better than any other style we can imagine. It
leaves the reader with no false conception of
Conder’s unique position, as an artist embarrassed
to a degree by limitations but with a distinction of
mind and a power of giving it expression, through
imaginative pattern and mystery of colour, for
which we shall find no equivalent unless we look
beyond the lesser names in the history of art. The
book contains a catalogue of the artist’s lithographs
and etchings compiled by Mr. Campbell Dodgson
of the British Museum, and one hundred and
twenty-one illustrations, many of them in colour,
making a volume of sufficient importance in ap-
pearance to represent the lifework of the short-
lived individualist whom it commemorates.

Stained Glass of the Middle Ages in England and
France. Painted by Laurence B. Saint. Described
by Hugh Arnold. (London : A. and C. Black.)
25s. net.—Ancient Pamted Glass in England,
nyo-igoo. By Philip Nelson, M.D., Ch.B.,
F.S.A. (London: Methuen.) 7s. 6d. net.—

Although the titles of these two works suggest that
they cover the same ground, at all events in so far
as old English stained glass is concerned, the plan
and scope of the two are in fact widely different.
Dr. Nelson’s volume, which belongs to the series of
“ Antiquary’s Books,” and except for the frontis-
piece contains only black-and-white illustrations,
consists almost in its entirety of an inventory of all
the painted glass now extant in churches, &c.,
throughout England which can be assigned to the
period indicated in the title. This inventory, in
which a county classification has been followed, has
obviously been compiled with much care, and
should prove of great value to students of English
mediaeval arts and crafts. It is clear from both
these contributions to the subject that in the pro-
duction of stained and painted glass (which, as Mr.
Arnold remarks, is the description appropriate to the
glass under consideration), for the embellishment of
important buildings, such as cathedrals, churches,
baronial halls and the like, a high degree of
excellence was attained by English craftsmen,
though it is equally clear that at the outset the
chief stimulus came from France and more
especially Chartres. The points of contact between
the English and the French schools are dealt with
by Mr. Arnold, whose work is restricted to a dis-
cussion of the characteristics in regard to design
and technique of a series of typical windows of
mediaeval origin now existing. His text is accom-
panied by excellent illustrations in colour from
drawings by Mr. Saint, who has succeeded in render-

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