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Book Review.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

William Wetmore Story, '38, the well-known American sculptor, who has been residing in Italy since 1848, has just given to the public a most interesting work entitled, "Conversations in a Studio." Two persons-presumably architects-meet in their studios, and naturally talk of that which is nearest to them, namely, of art. The conversations, nine in number, centre upon painting, sculpture, music and literature, but they are always "straying from the direct" and touch all manner of subjects. They contain a mint of information, and show the many-sidedness of Mr. Story's intellect; he is as much at home with the Greek drama as with the English poet, with history as with philosophy, with mesmerism as with criticism. He quotes frequently and aptly from well known authors from all ages, from Cicero and Appollodorus, from Schiller and Goethe, from Coleridge and Wordsworth. The sixth conversation is by far the most interesting as it gives us Mr. Story's idea of true art and shows that he does not believe with ruskin that a perfect reproduction is a work of art. True art, the author says, is "nature reflected in the spiritual mirror, and tinged with all the sentiment, feeling, and passion of the spirit that reflects it." It is neither real or illusory; it is the embodiment of the inmost being of the artist. For, if the artist cannot feel his own work and infuse into it his own spirit, how can he expect his work to move others? Moreover, each work has its own word to say; it must embody but one idea, and unless this word is spoken, the whole is a failure, no matter how true and clear the details are.

[Conversations in a Studio. By William Wetmore Story. In 2 volumes. Boston and New York. Houghton, Mifflin and Co. 1890. pp. 307, 271. Price $1.25 per volume].

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