IMPRESSIONIST PAINTING IN THE 1.01 RE, by Germain Bazin (Thames and Hudson, 28s.).
CEZANNE: BRAQUE: TOULOUSE LAUTREC (Methuen, The Little Library of Art, 2s. 6d. each).
PICASSO: his life and work, by Roland Penrose (Gollancz, 25s.).
"IMPRE_SS1ONIST Paintings in • the Louvre" is a very good, well edited book at a reasonable price. It is primarily intended as a picture book, and the colour plates haVe just sufficient size and quality to make adequate substitutes for the real thing, while small singletone illustrations at the end fill out the picture of the Louvre collec• tion.
The introduction and the notes for each coloured plate are informative and fortunately do not attempto interpret the pictures for us. An ideal Christmas present.
The three "Little Library of Artvolumes have the virtues (few) and the defects (many) of the very small art-book. They are handy and cheap, but on the other hand they make nonsense of the majesty and impact of the paintings they attempt to reproduce., The introductions by Edouard Julien, John Rewald. and Frank Elgar are, as one would expect, reliable.
"IN my opinion to search means • nothing in painting. To find is the thing." These words have been uttered by Picasso and many feel that his career has been a triumphant vindication of them.
"Picasso: his life and work" is a detailed and reasonable account of this career by one who has known and studied his subject well.
Mr. Penrose has managed to control the meteoric changes in style-blue period, pink period. Iberian, Negro, classical, cubist. collage, metamorphic, etc.-as well as he has sorted out the equally sudden geography of Picasso's life. Perhaps the unity of his fine biography stems from the author's conviction that Picasso masters his art and his environment, but is never mastered by them.
As a mere youth at the Academies of Barcelona and Mad
rid, his drawings from the nude already had the tinge of his independent personality: their proportions were realistic rather than classical.
To the limits
SINCE those days, he has relent
lessly pushed his definition of "realism" in art to the limits of the subjective, interior vision, yet it is the same path that he has continued to tread. That individualism which has always rejected the limitations of "school" or theory has made out of Picasso the greatest art-teacher of our century.
Mr. Penrose's interesting description of the creation of Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907) shows clearly how Picasso launched the spirit of freedom in modern art and how few people understood him at the time. Matisse was furious, declaring that Picasso wanted to Snake fun of his colleagues.
Picasso. a fundamentally reserved man, would not make the best subject for a chatty biography, but the seriousness of this hook is tempered by lighter moments. It is amusing to read that, as a young man, he was desperately anxious to visit England "due to the idea he had formed of English women, whose beauty, strength of character, and courage had grown in his imagination to heroic stature".
It is interesting to speculate as to whether London might not, but for chance, have been the Paris of modern art. G.B.
IF there are people still who can"' not see how modern art is linked with the past they should come to the exhibition of stained glass, paintings and drawings of
Evie Hone at the Arts Council. Hers was the vision that stretched out and grasped the 12th century with one hand and the 20th with the other and drew them both together in a highly successful unity.
While it is possible to discover in her glass influences from early mediaeval Irish stone carvings, from her master Albert Gleizes, from her admired Rouault and over and above these something that reminds us of our Gothic inheritance, yet a window by Evie Hone is wholly' integrated, having a perfection which she, a dedicated artist, bestowed upon everything she did.
By IRIS CONLAY