Studio: international art — 66.1915

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IV. Robert Colton, A.R.A.

revival; the popularity of sculpture to-day is due
to them, and to them only. For one thing, they
have taken the only line which could lead them to
definitely important achievement; for another, they
have increased remarkably the technical merit of
their work. Our modern sculptors are as notable
for the quality of their craftsmanship as they are
for their intelligent application of artistic principles
and for their freedom from the domination of
obsolete tradition.

What they are pro-
ducing now is better
in many ways than
anything this country
has seen before, more
alive, more original,
and more accom-
plished; and what
they are doing to ad-
vance the interests of
British art is more
significant and more
helpful than anything
that is recorded in our
history.

Among the men
who are playing
prominent parts as
leaders of the revival
there are many whose
distinction is beyond
dispute and whose
work takes high rank
in the art world—
some of mature years
with a long list of
achievements to- their
credit, others younger
who have done much,
but from whom even
more is to be ex-
pected. With the
best of these younger
sculptors must cer-
tainly be counted Mr. W. Robert Colton, the sub-
ject of this article, for he is a typical exponent of the
modern spirit and his craftsmanship is beyond re-
proach. The place he occupies in the British school
—and it is a place of no little importance—he has
gained by sheer strength of artistic personality, by
the clear expression of a well-considered conviction
which has guided him consistently through all the
developments of his practice. His success has
been no accident; he has earned it by more than
94

twenty-five years of continuous effort, during which
he has had experience of most of the possible
applications of sculpture and has matured his powers
by constant self-discipline.

Mr. Colton was born in 1867, and was trained
first at the Lambeth School of Art and afterwards
in the Royal Academy Schools and in Paris. He
began to exhibit in 1889, and ten years later his
statue, The Girdle, shown at Burlington House, was

purchased by the
Chantrey Fund Trus-
tees; and in 1903 he
was elected an Asso-
ciate of the Royal
Academy—these are
the more salient bio-
graphical facts in his
career. His early
training and the in-
fluences under which
he came in his youth
cannot, however, be
said to have had any
deciding influence
upon his art; that he
has shaped and de-
termined for himself,
profiting, no doubt,
by his study of the
work of other men,
but using his own
temperament and his
own testhetic prefer-
ences to fix definitely
the manner of his
artistic growth.

It is by his per-
formances during the
last few years that he
can best be judged;
not, indeed, because
they suggest any
finality in his convic-
tion, but rather
because they show how ready he is to adapt
himself to the conditions and inspiration of the
moment. The increased command over technical
devices which comes with years of practice has
not made him less receptive of new impressions;
the acquisition of executive facility has not induced
in him any inclination to repeat himself or to
stereotype his work; he uses his skill as a crafts-
man to enable him to express himself better as an
artist.

“THF. SPRINGTIDE 01-' LIFE.” BY W. R. COLTON, A.R.A.
( Tate Gallery)
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