18 MARCH 1899, Page 22

Lithography and Lithographers. By Joseph and Elizabeth Robins Pennell. (T.

Fisher Unwin. .23 13s. 6d.)—Mr. and Mrs. Pennell have made an exhaustive study of the art of lithography, from its beginnings down to the present day. The book is full of illustrations, thereby enabling us to get an idea of the rise, fall, and resuscitation of the art. For some time after the discovery made by Senefelder at the end of the last century, the capabilities of the art of drawing on stone were not fully realised. The French artists of the " thirties " and "forties" may be said to have brought the art to perfection,—Daumier, Gavarni, and Achille Deveria. Many examples of these masters are here reproduced; among them are two portraits by Deveria, which for their simplicity and style are quite admirable. But an art so simple in its procedure was not likely to be left unspoiled. The shop seized upon it, and deluged the world with things that at last made people cry out against the process as a base and mechanical one. TheRenaissance came in recent years. Foremost among the reformers was Mr. Whistler, who showed by his exquisite portraits and landscapes drawn on stone how subtle and delicate lithography could be. In truth, there is no other manner of multiplying an artist's drawing which keeps so much of the fresh- ness of the original and adds so little of the mechanical procedure. The artist now has the great advantage of being able to draw on paper instead of on a cumbersome stone. Mr. Pennell rightly combats the view advanced by some that these " transfer " drawings are not true lithographs. As the drawing on the paper is transferred to the stone by a press, and is left uninterfered with by any touching up, and then treated precisely as if it had been drawn on the stone itself, it is difficult to see what difference between the two methods there can be. This work is enriched by some fine original lithographs. The finest of these is a portrait by Professor Legros of himself. It would be difficult to speak too highly of this beautiful work. The entire absence of any display and the masterly control of the material make this drawing most fascinating. Altogether, this book is a valuable storehouse of information relative to, and of samples of work done in, a delightful medium.