This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
The important work under consideration, Professor Lanteri informs us, is a development of his notes for his demonstration classes at the Royal College of Art. In their present extended form their value to the less experienced teacher can hardly be over-estimated. But there is nothing aggressively didactic in the tone of the book. Realising from the start that it is Individuality that makes the artist, the author does not attempt here, any more than he does in the lecture-room, to impose his own ideas on the pupil. All he undertakes to do is to teach him the craft of the sculptor, and that he does most thoroughly. Naturally, he insists on the supreme importance of drawing as the foundation of sculpture. On this point he will admit of no compromise. There are teachers who tell us that the child learning to model first, acquires the knowledge of drawing intuitively. It is the "Kindergarten" theory, and something is to be said in favour of its practice so far as it may develop in very young children a feeling for form; but Professor Lanteri undoubtedly is right in declaring that "no student ought to be admitted to modelling in a school unless he has first done some serious drawing." For first studies in modelling, he recommends the human features from the cast, and he considers that the best models for the details of the face are not those from "the antique," but from the masque of the "David" of Michel-Angelo. These, he points out, are executed " with such precision, so much knowledge of form and anatomy, that in copying them the student is seized with the desire to know the reason for these forms, and he is thus urged on to the study of anatomy,
Professor Lanteri. Drawn by Professor legros.
From " Modelling." (By courtesy of Messrs. Chapman & Hall, Ltd.) so necessary for sculpture." Even more important than the study of the bones is that of the muscular system, and he makes that clear, but he does not fail to remind the student that whilst anatomy teaches the general laws of the human form, it is the living model that shows the same laws applied and modified by individual characteristics.
Professor Lanteri appreciates great Greek art, as only such a sculptor can ; but it is interesting to note that he does not approve of putting its masterpieces of sculptures before the beginner to copy. It is impossible, he holds, for the novice to understand their subtle beauties; for the exquisite finish which delights the connoisseur conceals from, rather than reveals to, the uninformed vision of the mere student the suggestion of that underlying anatomical structure with which it is of the first importance for him to familiarise himself. By and by those hidden beauties will come to him as a revelation. In the meanwhile, models with the academic vigour of the "David" of Michel-Angelo will present to him no such dangers.
Rough Sketch of Composition: "Artemis and Endymion."
On the opposite page are shown respectively The Nude Preparation and The Completed Sketch of the same.
From "Modelling." By Professor E. LantEri. (By courtesy of Messers Chapman & Hall, Ltd., Publishers.)
The head having been studied from the cast, first by the separate features - the modelling of each of which is lavishly illustrated by photographs showing their progressive stages - skull and muscles are taken up and considered with the same degree of thoroughness. Then we have the bust from life. Professor Lanteri's way of treating this part of his subject is familiar to our reader-. through the special demonstration with which he favoured this magazine in its early issues. But here the subject is treated more in detail, the illustrations comprising a dozen full-page photographs, besides numerous drawings and diagrams in the text. The treatment, in the same thorough fashion, of the entire male figure completes the first volume, which, we may remark, so far as it goes, is complete in itself.
Before the second volume was ready for the press Mr. Onslow Ford died, and the preface is written by Sir William Richmond, K.C.B., R.A. This distinguished artist, no less than Mr. Ford, bears witness to the author's scholarship, and appreciates the enthusiastic temperament so happily allied with the rarest gifts of the teacher. In adding that the sound principles set forth in the hook are practically applied in the modelling classes at the Royal College of Art, of course, he does the Professor no more than justice.
Contrary to the general idea, the study of relief offers much greater difficulties than modelling in the round, and the second volume is chiefly devoted to its consideration. With the space left at our disposal it is impossible to follow the author in this fascinating branch of his subject. Especially comprehensive and scholarly is the treatment of drapery. The chapters devoted to this section of the work should be almost as valuable to the average professional sculptor, and to the decorative painter -
Time Drapery Sketch from the Living Model.
From "Modelling." By Professor E. LantEri. (By courtesy of Messrs. Chapman & Hall, Ltd., Publishers.) especially the artist in stained glass - as to the ordinary student, for whom ostensibly they are written.
Before copying the draped living model - which has to be done very quickly, for the model can only sit for a limited time - the student is required to study drapery on a lay-figure or plaster-cast and familiarise himself with the principles and laws of the direction of folds and their masses. He is advised to begin with a simple arrangement on a plaster-cast; then gradually go on to more complicated arrangements with different materials.
Damp material is recommended for first drapery studies, "because the folds will adhere better to the statue than if they were dry, and you obtain by these means an exaggeration which will show up the material more clearly." The Professor's beautiful arrangements of drapery on plaster-cast, lay-figure, and living model constitute an invaluable series of practical demonstrations. The photographs we give of the group, in high relief, of "Artemis and Endymion," belong to a set of six, all of which are necessary to show satisfactorily the evolution from the rough sketch of the composition to the completed panel reproduced. A series of photographs of an arrangement of drapery on the living model and another set showing an arrangement on the lay figure are invaluable to artist and student alike. No less interesting, nor less profusely illustrated, is the chapter on the modelling of medals, in which we have a further lesson in draping the nude figure. But it is hopeless to try, within the limits of a magazine review, to do justice to this very important work. We will only add that every page is illumined by expert knowledge, modestly and lucidly conveyed in unexceptionable English.
Our author, as a rule, keeps strictly to the practical side of his subject. Now and then, however, he is tempted to give his views on material issues affecting his profession, and his comments then are always very much to the point. This is especially so in a scathing protest in regard to the status of the Art Teacher - the Teacher of Modelling in particular. He says: "The world is sometimes surprised to see such a small number of good teachers. It ought rather to be surprised that men of value have allowed themselves by their aptitude for the vocation to be entrapped into such an ungrateful and badly appreciated career. If a professor gives himself up entirely to teaching, and sacrifices to it even his desire to produce for himself, he is nearly always looked on as an unsuccessful artist. The esteem accorded to a teacher is measured by his success outside teaching. A young master will be asked if he can draw and model a figure, but never if he can demonstrate to others how to do it. All such wrong and unjust views are calculated to drive the best qualified men out of the profession." In a foot-note, he adds: "The salaries also which are offered to young men, after having spent twelve years of their life in studying one branch of art, are more than ridiculous - less than what a fourth-rate cook would earn, and the members of committees who are not ashamed to offer Ģi20 per annum to a young master lack all respect for art and even self-respect." Appreciation of the justice of such words as these - coming from one holding the distinguished position of Professor Lanteri, both as sculptor and teacher - coming from one who, for the sake of art, nobly sacrifices personal ambition and pecuniary advantage to the educational interests of his adopted country - can no more be withheld than the disinterestedness of their expression can be doubted. (London: Chapman & Hall, II, Henrietta-street, W.C. Price 15s. net. each volume.)
"George Frederick Watts."
IT is inevitable that sooner or later we shall see a completely illustrated volume of the work of our most imaginative English painter. With very few exceptions, the numerous productions of his brush which form the present memorial
From " George Frederick
Watts." (Newnes' Art exhibition at Burlington House were photographed, during the artist's lifetime, by Mr. Frederick Hollyer, so that the principal material is already at hand for what should be in the nature of a "Catalogue raisonne" of the master's work. In the meantime we welcome this representative selection from the Hollyer photographs, which furnishes the illustrations of the latest addition to Newnes' admirable Art Library series. There is no illustrated catalogue of the exhibition, and the volume before us should be found a fair substitute. The originals of nearly all of the pictures in the book are at the Royal Academy exhibition, and no one will like the book less because it illustrates some paintings by Watts not at Burlington House.
Photographs by Frederick Hollyer, Owner of Copyrights.
Because we have, so far, spoken only of the pictures, the reader must not suppose that the letterpress is deficient. Indeed, the contrary is the case. It was frankly, however, part of the publisher's scheme in the projection of this series that the illustrations should be the leading feature, and, as in the previous volumes, they occupy something like three-fourths of the whole space. The personal notice of Mr. Watts by Mr. W. K. West is well written, but the review by the distinguished Italian writer, Romualdo Pantini, which follows it, is some-
Love And Death.
From "George Frederick Watts. ' (Newnes Art Library.) thing more: in our judgment it is at once the most discerning and sympathetic criticism that has yet appeared of the life work of our great poet painter. (London: Geo. Newnes, Ltd. 3s. 6d. net.)