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The craftsman
Volume XXXI, Number 3 (December 1916)

Silhouette illustrations for "Midsummer Night's Dream": drawn by P. Konewka,   pp. 268-270 PDF (1.2 MB)


Page 268


SILHOUETTE ILLUSTRATIONS FOR "MID-
SUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM": DRAWN BY
P. KONEWKA
The Man in the
Moon:
"All that I have
to say, is, to tell
you that the lan-
thorn is the
moon; I, the man
in the moon ý this
thornbush, my
thornbush; and
this dog, my
dog."
HE decorative force and appeal of the Japanese print
stands out with peculiar prominence from all other ex-
pressions of art. Its charm lies partly in the Japanese
mastery of outline, and partly in their delicate sense
of color value. A beautiful line has always meant
much to both the Chinese and Japanese people. Their
               reverence for it, in fact, almost approaches worship.
In their minds "a single stroke contains in itself the principles of
life
and death." By a deft accentuation and by a purity of stroke they
manage to suggest in an astonishingly few motions the wild exultation
of birds flying before a storm, the sad sound of the surf on a lonely
shore, cool drifting fog among the pine trees. Upon their knowledge
of line and line composition they have developed a great and distinct
art, one that has high and honored place in the respect of artists and
art lovers the world over.
    Though the silhouette in no way ranks with the Japanese print in
artistic value, yet somewhat the same art principles operate to its
success. In the making of the silhouette there must be great dexterity
of hand, combined with keen appreciation of character, knowledge
of the effective relation of bold masses and delicate detail. Surety of
stroke and a sensitive fancy must be in evidence. The silhouette has
never been given serious consideration, though it possesses so ex-
ceptional a decorative value, but will doubtless come into its own in the
very near future. Because of its simplicity it ranks somewhere near
to the Japanese print in importance, and because of the rare onnor-
tunity afforded for character representation, it
into the field of the miniature painter. No 1
power to convey a more striking likeness than f
in spite of these varied possibilities of developn
commanding a dignified attention, very little ha
    Occasionally, however, someone arises who r
through his own pleasure in its beauty and belie:
in its esthetic power. This Christmas seasoi
brings us several most delightful portfolios o:
silhouettes, by P. Konewka, so rich in fancy, s(
humorously alert and so exquisitely drawn tha
they will do much to quicken general interest an(
uplift the standard of this art. We are pleased t(
be able to show a few taken from the "Midsuxmei
Night's Dream" series, a subject that lends itselt
with exceptional charm to the silhouette art
268


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