Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/73

This page has been validated.

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

23

Japanese art from the artistic point of view. Gonse's work was criticised by Fenollosa in his Review of the Chapter on Painting in Gonse's "L'Art Japonais" (published first at Yokohama, then at Boston in 1885), and his energetic repudiation of Gonse's (the current) gross over-estimate of Hokusai's importance in Japanese art was doubtless very well justified; at the same time Fenollosa was bound to admit that Gonse had succeeded admirably in making clear to his readers the genius of Korin, an artist whose qualities are by no means obvious to Western appreciation. Incidentally Fenollosa's far wider and deeper knowledge of both the pictures and the authorities enabled him to contribute a most stimulating survey of the chief points of view from which the development of Japanese painting is to be judged. In 1885 appeared a little book, entitled Japansk Malerkunst, by the Danish artist Madsen (pronounced Massen). The language in which it is written has unfortunately prevented it from attaining anything approaching the publicity which it deserves for its thoroughness, its esprit, its genuinely artistic feeling, and its fascinating style. Even now a translation of it would constitute the best possible introductionto the genius of Japanese art.

In 1889 a new generation appeared on the scene, which began to extend the province thus lately thrown open by painstaking researches on single points. Brinckmann in Hamburg published the first volume of his work on the Arts and Crafts of Japan, in which he offered a complete survey of the history of Japanese painting and wood-engraving, but still evinced a tendency to take his stand beside Gonse rather than Fenollosa, particularly in his over-estimate of Hokusai. Bing in Paris laboured zealously to familiarise the widest circles with Japanese art through his Japon Artistique, a splendidly got-up production, which appeared in three languages, French, German, and English, and by its excellent illustrations made possible a profound