+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

which belongs to certain fans of eccentric
decoration, is by no means one to be lightly
esteemed; the writer of these lines has,
before now, seen an entire company kept
afloat conversationally for a good quarter
of an hour after dinner while a fan, of
which no one could quite make out the
subject, was handed round among the guests
and speculated on.

Some capital opportunities are afforded
through the medium of such an exhibition
as this for estimating what the fan-painter
should aim at in pursuing his particular
branch of art. He should decidedly cultivate
colour, to begin with. The fans in
this collection, which are executed in one
shade, whether in sepia, pen and ink, or in
a monotint of any kindthere is one in
mauve, faces and allbeing ineffective and
unsatisfactory in every case. The colouring
of the Chinese and Indian specimens
is quite a study in their way, these Eastern
people seeming to be really incapable of
making a mistake in colour. There is a
Japanese fan in red and silver, and one
from China, silver filigree varied with blue,
and green, and golden tintswhich are
both perfect models of harmonious colour.
The comparative merits of the different
kinds of sticks, slender or massive, richly
decorated with colour and gilding, or plain
carved ivory, or mother-o'-pearl, may also
be studied here most advantageously. And
one other point there is which it behoves
the maker of fans to consider very carefully
the distribution of the folds which
the closing up of the fan necessitates, and
which require to be very carefully placed.
There is one fan here in this collection so
arranged that one of these creases exactly
cuts off the end of the noseit is seen in
profileof one of the persons represented,
the effect of which accident is disastrous
in the extreme.

But the fans of the past, though perhaps
the most interesting part of this exhibition,
will not alone occupy the attention of those
who visit it. There is at one extremity
of the gallery in which this collection
is displayed, a screen on which are shown
some of the most recent examples of
fan-painting which could be got together;
among them are some designs for fans
by a Mademoiselle Alida Stolk, a Parisian
artiste, which are most remarkable both
for vigour and truth of execution, and also
for skill in composition and arrangement.
One of these, numbered four hundred and
six, a fan-shaped arch of roses, with some
specimens of iris interspersed among them,
and butterflies hovering over the flowers,
is exceedingly beautiful, as indeed are the
other designs by the same lady which hang
near. The composition of these groups of
flowers is singularly bold and free, and in
this respect, as also in strength of effect,
they surpass the single example of a
similar kind exhibited by an English lady,
Miss Charlotte James. This is a wreath
of poppies and corn-flowers, painted, like
the others, with the greatest delicacy and
fidelity to nature, but somewhat fainter
and more timid in execution than the
sturdy productions of the Parisian lady.
These flower compositions are all painted
on silk (white, faint blue, and buff) in
body colour, and they certainly suggest a
new field of labour for our lady flower-painters.
As a subject for a picture, a
group of flowers, however well executed, is
never satisfactory; but, as a decoration for
a fan, there can be conceived nothing more
perfectly suited to the purpose.

There is something exceedingly whimsical
about the idea of this exhibition
of objects so entirely frivolous and wanting
in seriousness, held in a solemn
government institution, and under the
sanction of the " Science and Art Department"
itself. As one looks along the
gallery in which these brilliant toys are
exposed, it is impossible not to be struck
by a certain pleasant incongruity which
this combination of things suggest. It is
as if a set of idle useless butterflies had
somehow got temporary possession of a
bee-hive, and were flaunting their lovely
wings in defiance of its legitimate hard-working
inhabitants. Alas! the poor
ephemera will have but a short lease of
the premises, and will, doubless, soon be
ejected to make way for other, and more
business-like, tenants!



MAUD had no compunction, no doubt or
misgiving as to what she had done, when
she got home. Her only thought was, " If
this fail, what can I do? I must quit
Mortlands: but where am I to go?"

Lady Herriesson had been to her
daughter's room, but had not found her
there. No one had seen her since the morning,
for even Maud's courage had not enabled
her to come down to luncheon: and her
mother, knowing the result of Sir Andrew's
attempt to bring Maud to reason, was seriously