20 NOVEMBER 1920, Page 12


[To THE EDITOR OP TEE " SPECTATOR.") Sza,—I have read with great interest, and I hope with equal profit, the review in last week's Spectator of Lady Evans's book, Lustre Pottery. I „cannot refrain, however, from cavil- ling at one passage, in which the reviewer says of the Arabs who conquered Egypt that it may be doubted whether they had any artistic ideas of their own. The writer seems to imply that art and the Arab have no more in common than the letter which starts both their names. In that opinion, indeed, he endorses high current authority.. But for my humble part I am staggered when I think what this implies, for it denies all artistic feeling to the Arab races. The common doctrine is that the Copts, &c., contrived and executed all those noble works which crown Cairo with a diadem of splendour. It may be that Copts executed all the work. But is no artistic credit due to those whose exquisitely discriminating taste ordained these architectural and other glories? By such argument the great patrons of the arts throughout the ages would be shorn of all credit and sunk to the level of the kings of modern intensive induetrialism. No Pope could have painted as well as Raphael, &e., nor could Pericles himself have built the

67 Westbourne Terrace.