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Art In December

    “The Dial,” edited by CHARLES H. SHANNON and CHARLES RICKETTS, and published by Charles H. Shannon, is the first number of the series “—that is all we know—” but whether it is to be published monthly or quarterly, or only when these two artists have got together material enough for another issue, we are not informed. This is all of a piece with the publication; it would be like a mere common publisher to announce how and when the following numbers were to be issued, but Messrs. Shannon and Ricketts will not be commonplace, and so they tell us nothing except that this first number is to be had for seven shillings and sixpence. There is a lithograph in colour, an etching, photographic reproductions of drawings, and wood engravings, and yet the reader will probably think it very dear. There is a certain sect in the school of French impressionists that boldly asserts that there is no beauty save in ugliness. The editors of The Dial apparently believe that obscurity of meaning is a virtue in art and literature. The illustrations by Mr. Ricketts are very unusual, and some —notably the etching accompanying the story of “The Great Worm,” which shows much sympathy with the methods of Albert Dürer—prove that he has considerable artistic power and some imagination, and several of the drawings in the text by the same artist possess admirable qualities. Perhaps Mr. Shannon’s “Prodigal Son,” and the illustra- tion to “A Glimpse of Heaven,” are also very clever; it is true they seem almost beneath contempt to anyone who knows anything of drawing. One would not willingly deprecate any attempt to raise literature and art out of their common everyday grooves, but this publication is hysterical and unhealthy, and the ordinary reader will probably locate the art and literature under the two heads of nudity and nonsense.

MLA citation:

“Art in December.” Rev. of The Dial, vol. 1, The Magazine of Art, January 1890, p. 9. Yellow Nineties 2.0, edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2020.