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The limits of this paper forbid more than a passing reference to the Churches of Australia and New Zealand. It must suffice to say that the American Church constitution supplied for these communities, as for Canada, the general model on which their own systems were framed.
Cursory as this glance over daughter or sister communities of the Church of England has necessarily been, we venture to think that it sufficiently substantiates the contention that the Church amongst us occupies an anomalous and quite unjustifiable position as regards its internal administration. In no accurate sense can it be described as self-governed. And such extraneous government as holds is practically ineffective. We do not assert that the activities of the Church are in consequence paralysed; but we emphatically contend that they are straitened, and that questions of mere procedure occupy attention to an extent scarcely short of lamentable in her quasiauthoritative Councils. Is there anything to be said against a speedy settlement of this still constantly shelved question which the above survey may not be taken conclusively to refute ?
ART AT THE FRANCO-BRITISH
With the majority of Londoners who crowd to it the Franco-British Exhibition is evidently not an institution to be taken seriously. It is the playground of the season ; a place to dine at and meet your friends and spend a summer evening amid fairy architecture and lights and fireworks—a view of its function which is certainly countenanced by the extent of space allotted to feeding establishments and the predominance of such innocent amusements as gravitation railways and toboggans and the vast piece of moving structure irreverently dubbed 'the flip-flap'; the latter, however, a more interesting piece of mechanical engineering than most of those who are slung in its cages are aware of. But there is more in the Exhibition than this, else had it been but a wanton expenditure of money.
To begin with, the question of the architectural treatment of a collection of temporary structures is one of some interest. It is an opportunity for realising, for the moment, architectural effects of a richness and exuberance such as can seldom be afforded in permanent buildings in these days of economy and the competitive cutting of prices. The architectural designer is let loose, as it were, into a dream-country, in which he may give the reins to his fancy without the fear of the Quantity Surveyor before his eyes. Should he aim at producing vast combinations of architecture in orthodox form, ephemeral in actual structure but in outward aspect monumental ? Or should he frankly accept the situation and treat his buildings as obviously temporary and evanescent, fragile fancies in fragile materials :
The earth hath bubbles as the water hath,
There is something to be said for either principle. Inigo Jones or Bramante would have preferred the first alternative, and would have produced for us visions of stately combinations of columnar architecture such as have really been carried out only, perhaps, in the great days of Selinus or of Paestum. At the Chicago exhibition the tendency was in favour of this kind of stately classic scenery, and fine effects were produced ; whether the knowledge that the structure is not what it appears destroys the enjoyment of the effect, is perhaps a question of individual temperament. The French, who have a keener æsthetic sense in matters of this kind than any other nation, in their more recent great exhibitions (1889 and 1900) have rather favoured the adoption of special forms of temporary architecture; though M. Formige, in the two palaces of Arts' and ' Arts Libéraux' which faced each other in the 1889 Paris Exhibition, adopted an honestly visible construction of a then new type-steel framing filled in with decorative terra-cotta. But in general, and in the 1900 Exhibition especially, the French adopted a style of obviously temporary architecture founded in the main on reminiscences of classic forms, but treated with a great deal of freedom and in many cases with admirable effect.
It is difficult to classify the architecture of the Franco-British Exhibition—it is a medley ; but for the most part, though derived from very various types, it does not simulate monumental architecture. There are some pavilions in which classic columnar orders are introduced, as in the British Applied Arts pavilion, designed by a young English architect of genius, Mr. J. B. Fulton; but in this and other cases the treatment, at all events of the upper portion of the structure, is so far playful and (as one may say) unreal as to preclude the idea of a monumental structure. The Canada pavilion has the most monumental appearance of any, and is rather imposing in its general effect. The Daily Mail pavilion is a rather bad imitation, in faulty proportion, of Chambers's octagon pavilion with concave sides in Kew Gardens, itself a weak imitation of the Temple of the Sun at Baalbek. The part of the Exhibition architecture which most closely follows the detail of existing styles is the first and largest quadrangle on entering from Wood Lane ; but here the model followed is in the main that of Dravidian Hindu architecture, combined in the upper portions) with some reminiscences of Indian Mohammedan architecture
By no quite lawful marriage of the arts,
but the two elements harmonise well enough, and no style could be better suited for festal temporary architecture than the school of Hindu work which has been adopted. It is as essentially an ornamental architecture as the Spanish style which has been called ' plateresque' from its resemblance to silversmith's work; and has the same kind of resemblance, with better detail ; for in a good deal of the Hindu decorative detail there is a certain finish and purity of line which has something the character of Greek ornament. A great deal of modelled ornament in this first court is charming work, and the design as a whole has a coherence and restraint which contrasts favourably with some of the pavilions further on ; the Women's Work
and the Palace of Music pavilions, for instance, on the right of the central court, have a good deal too much of the pie-crust order of detail about them ; a criticism which applies also, to some extent, to the façade of the Fine Arts pavilion on the extreme right. In one particular respect we realise that we are here in an exhibition in London and not in Paris, viz. in the scarcity of figure sculpture in the decoration. In the 1900 Paris exhibition the nude figure was to be seen at every turn; figures seated or recumbent on cornices everywhere, in precarious positions, as if blown there by the wind and left where they chanced to fall; but all with a vigour and suppleness of line and modelling that spoke of the artistic instinct of the French decorator, and in curious contrast to the tame and matter-of-fact manner in which figure decoration is used, where it is used at all, at the Shepherd's Bush Exhibition. However, the first court of the exhibition forms a fine piece of architectural scenery and is worth seeing as such. Its defect is the lack of any colour; it is too white. The gilding of all the small cupolas would perhaps have been too costly an expedient, but it would have immensely enhanced the total effect.
The special intellectual interest of the exhibition is of course the joint display of French and English sculpture and painting in the Fine Arts pavilion, compared with which every other interest is only secondary. The sculpture is placed in a central hall on the plan of a cross, the French work on the left of the central axis, the English on the right, the picture galleries of the two nations being grouped around and beyond their respective domains in the sculpture hall. Nothing could have been more interesting, or in a sense more instructive, than an opportunity of studying a collection of the best products of French and English sculpture and painting side by side ; but unfortunately the representation of the two countries is not sufficiently well balanced to afford a fair standard of comparison. It was no doubt an easier task to get together a representative collection of English art on our own soil than for the French Committee to send the works of their artists across the Channel ; but the result is that England is far more favourably represented than France. On the English side of the Sculpture Hall are collected a considerable number of the best sculptural works of late years, and this can hardly be said of the collection on the French side. Falguière and M. Mercié are inadequately represented ; M. Alfred Boucher also ; M. JeanBoucher not at all ; Gérôme only by a bronze equestrian statuette of Napoleon-a splendid little work certainly, but not an example of what Gérôme could do in sculpture ; and Carpeaux's group of Ugolino is hardly a happy example of his genius. The result is an impression that French and English sculpture, as represented here, are pretty evenly balanced as to genius ; but could we have seen on the French side such works as Carpeaux's La Danse ; Falguière's Juno;
Jean-Boucher’s Antique et Moderne ; Bartholomé's pathetic group of the man and woman looking into the tomb (the central group of the Monument aux Morts); Mercié's monument to Alfred de Musset, and a dozen others that might be mentioned, there would have been a different story to tell. In regard to painting the discrepancy is still greater. The English galleries contain one of the finest, most varied, and most typical collections of modern English painting that have ever been got together; not to speak of a very fine collection of water colours also, an art of which the French show nothing, and have in fact very little to show. Moreover, the English Committee had the fortunate idea of exhibiting in two or three special rooms a selection of the works of deceased English painters, both recent and earlier, which forms one of the most interesting portions of the exhibition. The French have a few works of their artists of the early and middle nineteenth century, but they are not collected .together so as to make a special feature, nor do they form a very typical selection. There is, it is true, one splendid Troyon (forming a pendant to an equally fine example of M. Harpignies); but neither the name of Diaz nor Théodore Rousseau appear, and no one need think they get any notion of such a grand landscape-painter as Dupré from the two small pictures by him that are exhibited ; and as to Puvis de Chavannes, it is absolutely melancholy to think that English visitors should get their only idea of him from his unfortunate Décollation de Saint Jean-Baptiste (probably an early work). Nor are the living artists more satisfactorily represented. Instead of any one of M. Gervais' great works we have only an insignificant portrait by him ; neither MM. Didier-Pouget nor Quignon appears among landscape painters; the semi-nude figure entitled Beauté is hardly a typical example of M. Henri Martin ; and M. Carolus-Duran is not shown at his best. And one is almost as much inclined to complain of what is there as of what there is not. Some of the worst pictures are among the largest. What is the credit to French Art of such a huge piece of commonplace as M. Detaille's Victimes du Devoir ?
In one point, however, the French picture galleries score heavily over ours—in their decorative treatment; and the difference is one which is unfortunately characteristic of the two nations. The English galleries, it is understood, were got up under the direction of the Royal Academy, who apparently could think of nothing better than covering the walls with a dull red, and finishing them with a very ordinary plaster cornice. Go into the French galleries, and you find a delicate diaper on the walls and a fine bold frieze at the top made up of gilt ‘swags and festoons ; the whole aspect of the galleries is refined and decorative, in strange contrast to the crude and coarse effect of the English galleries ; a contrast not creditable to us. A redeeming point is that the English are certainly better lighted than the French
VOL. LXIV-No. 378