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shine and shadow, as M. Ponchin gives it in his Pine-trees at Carqueiranne and his Sunset after Rain at Venice.
A more perfect example of style and composition in landscape could hardly be found than La Dune et le chêne vert by M. Cabié, a worthy pupil of Harpignies; M. Couturaud (another pupil of Harpignies) has an exceptionally good winter landscape; MM. Quignon and Palézieux are both fine in their different styles. Among sea pictures there is a kind of pathos in M. Broquet's La Trêve, a wrecked coaster in shoal water, gently rocked by the sunlit morning sea where the storm had wrecked her overnight. And if you want to see storm on canvas, look at M. Lefort-Magniez' Surpris par la Marée, with its waste of white water and rack of ragged driving clouds; no exaggerated scenic effect here; it is Nature in one of her wildest aspects, painted with a power and truth that could hardly be surpassed.
There is not very much of interest in the New Salon; there is much that is preposterous. There is a good deal of beauty in M. Osbert's immense allegorical picture, Le retour du jour, in the staircase hall; more than in M. Aman-Jean's decorative picture, Les Elements, for the new Sorbonne, which is attractive neither in colour nor composition. M. Aman-Jean has a great following at present; he has certainly made his own style, and, generally speaking, colour is his strong point; but there is a kind of worsted-work texture in his painting which does very well for draperies, but gives a very unhappy appearance to the faces in his figures. M. Dagnan-Bouveret's Marguerite au Sabat is not very successful. M. Caro-Delville, in Les présents de la Terre, one of three decorative paintings for a house at Buenos Aires, has painted a very fine nude figure; few painters of the day can surpass him there. M. Béraud, in Chemin de Croix, once more introduces the figure of Christ in the midst of a crowd of modern figures. It was worth doing once; and his first picture of the kind, a good many years ago-Christ seated among the members of a fashionable club, with a Parisian lady of the demi-monde playing the part of Mary Magdalen at His feet-was a powerful work with a telling point in it; but the frequent repetition of the idea is futile and in questionable taste. A picture which is amusing without any such intention is M. Courtois Persée délivrant Andromède, where Perseus is obviously a bank ma'nager who has forgotten to dress that morning; and one that is amusing of malice prepense is M. Guillaume's L'Avis de la famille, where a whole family, down to the little boy, bestow their opinions on the unfortunate painter of a picture of which we see the back : a bit of satire which many a painter will appreciate only too well.
There is little space left to speak of the Academy exhibition ; but the size of the Burlington House exhibition, at all events, compared with the vast art-whirlpool of the Salon, is about in the same proportion; and those who may take the trouble to read this article will probably see the Academy for themselves, while many of them will not see the Salon, and may be interested to know something of what is in it. Sculpture at the Royal Academy is by no means so important an element in the exhibition, proportionately, as it is at the Salon; for, as M. de L'Atelier did not scruple to say on his visit last year, our institution seemed to him to be an Academy of painting, with a little sculpture and architecture thrown in. Nevertheless, for some ten or fifteen years past the sculpture has generally been the strongest part of the Academy show. The manner in which English sculpture has advanced during the last twenty years or so, in spite of the poor encouragement which the art receives either from the Government or the public of this country, is enough to show how much sculptural talent there is among us, if only it could find scope and encourage
, ment for its development. True, we have had sad losses; Harry Bates, a true genius, was cut off at an early age; and Onslow Ford has gone; and of another sculptor of genius, Mr. Gilbert, we hear no more now. But there are still sculptors among us; and the annual exhibition of the work of the Academy students, where sculpture nearly always makes the best appearance, indicates that there are others to come forward when they can get a chance. This year the sculpture is less satisfactory than usual, but in a sense which is not exactly the fault of the sculptors. There are too many portrait figures in costume, which are not the kind of thing that sculpture is really meant for; but these are commissions, and cannot be refused. Where the costume is of a broad and simple kind something sculpturesque can be made of it, as Mr. Drury shows in his statue of Elizabeth Fry, and Sir George Frampton in his group entitled Protection, part of a memorial to Dr. Barnardo. It is the portrait statues of men in modern costume that are the difficulty, and there are too many of them this year. Even Mr. MacKennal's Gainsborough statue, where there is at least a better costume to the sculptor's hand than the modern coat and trousers, is not a satisfactory employment of sculpture; and in France Gainsborough would probably have been commemorated by a portrait bust on a stele, with a figure symbolical of his art grouped with it, whereby the whole difficulty of the costume is got rid of. But if the superiority of this method is suggested to English sculptors, they will reply (2:3 one of them did in fact in my hearing) that they would be only too happy to adopt it, but that the English public will not have it; they will have the whole figure, realistic costume and all.
Clearly, therefore, if English sculpture is to have the best opportunities, the public must first be taught to take more interest in sculpture, and to understand better what it means; and that is a long business.
Among the works which are really sculpturesque in style and subject, and aim at conveying a meaning beyond mere modelling, is Mr. Garbe's group of The Magdalenes, one standing, draped, looking down on her nude sister at her feet. What the artist exactly intended by this is not quite obvious, but there is a pathos about it which is to be felt nevertheless. Mr. Lucchesi's bronze group, The Two Voices, is also a work expressing an idea ; and Mr. Gilbert Bayes' Fountain of the Valkyrs, with the Valkyrs on horses careering round it in a rather Donatello-like relief, is an exceedingly clever and effective piece of decorative work on a small scale; probably intended as a model to be carried out on a larger scale. If Mr. Bayes were in France he would probably get a State commission to carry this out for some public place; but, alas! what chance is there of that in a country where money spent on art is officially considered to be a sinful waste of public funds? In the Lecture Room we find in Mr. Colton's The Riter unto the Sea a small but fine marble group of poetic significance; and Mr. Babb's life-size Love and the Vestal next to it is also a work expressing an idea, and very spirited in conception and execution; but it would require to be placed in a niche or on the front of a building, as there is nothing in the back view but the broad surface of the Vestal's cloak. Sculpture that is to stand in the open must be capable of being looked at all round.
Mr. Reynolds-Stephens exhibits his talent for decorative work, in which figure and pedestal have an almost equal share in the design, in his bronze statuette portrait of a lady seated on an admirably designed pedestal in marble and various metals; the effect is a little disturbed by the very large and conspicuous pattern on the dress of the figure, which seems rather out of scale with the other details. This form of decorative work in various materials has not been much illustrated in English sculpture (though Onslow Ford did something with it), and after the great success which he made with his Philip and Elizabeth, Mr. Reynolds-Stephens is wise in developing this as his own special province. Mr. Trent's sketch model for a memorial to the late King, to be erected at Brighton, looks very well as a whole; this, besides some other works on a small scale, is exhibited in one of the picture galleries. But the Academy ought to do much more for sculpture than merely dotting about some small works in the picture galleries; sculpture wants another room, and ought to have one. If the large gallery were devoted to sculpture it would be no more than is just to the art, and that would do something to correct the popular idea that 'art' means ' pictures.'
A first general look through the picture galleries left the impression that one had been seeing a considerable number of highly finished paintings; many of them charming, no one of them great. But the proportion of pictures which are crude, commonplace, and uninteresting is certainly smaller at the Academy than at the Salon; of course the actual number of pictures is much less. On the other hand, one can find nothing so powerful as the best work at the Salon, more especially in two classes of work-nude figures and landscape. Nude figures, in fact, seem almost entirely at a discount; English popular prejudice, perhaps, for one thing, is against them; and, when they are there, they are generally rather feeble productions, Mr. Tuke's male figures excepted. A great deal of English landscape-painting is beautiful in its way, Mr. Davis's pictures, for instance; but they look weak beside the Salon landscapes; and in some cases, too, there seems so little attempt at composition in English landscape; a remark which does not refer to Mr. Davis's pictures, still less to those of Sir Alfred East, whose landscapes have always a unity of conception, a look of building up, about them; indeed, in A Tranquil River he has perhaps too much sacrificed local colour to unity of effect; Under the Wold is his strongest work this year. Mr. Arnesby Brown's A Norfolk Landscape is a vigorous work, especially in the treatment of the cattle in the foreground, but the distance is surely a little confused in effect. Mr. Gwelo Goodman strikes rather a new note in The Walls of England; the effect may be somewhat loaded and heavy, but it is the work of a painter who means something in his landscape, and is not merely painting a
Of course, in sea-painting, as long as we have Mr. Hemy with us, we may face the world; but the French, who used to be nowhere in sea-painting, are beginning to find out something about it, and may be formidable rivals before long.
Pictures which mainly deal with human life and character are not very strong this year. Abbey's Education of Isabella the Catholic (unfinished) offers a rather striking contrast between the face and manner of the young girl, evidently full of delight in life, and the ascetic figures who accompany her; that is the point of the picture, and it is forcibly illustrated. Sir L. Alma-Tadema has moved from his usual place in Gallery III. to Gallery I., where he confronts us with Preparations : in the Coliseum; the Imperial box being furnished with flowers and refreshments; the figure is of little interest, the whole picture consists in the marble and silver details, the mosaic-laid floor of the box-lobby, and the numbered seats for the populace rising in the background;
but what is the construction of the balustrade separating the seats from the arena? It is rather puzzling, as it has always been said that the top member of the railing was a wooden round bar turning on a centre, lest peradventure some lion or tiger should get a clutch on the top rail. Of other contents of this room, Mr. Henry's sketch of a picnic in a forest is a fine piece of colour, and Mr. Hacker may be congratulated on his Imprisoned Spring, where the sunlight pours into the room which the cottage girl cannot leave. Mr. Sims's The Shower is too absurd ; it may be maintained that the object of a picture is to be a decorative scheme and not to represent an incident; but we do want some kind of meaning and coherence in it. The large pictures of the year are very doubtful; Mr. Gow's scene in the House of Commons, 2nd of March, 1628, does not impress one as real; Mrs. Knight's The Flower is exceedingly clever, but who wants a picture of that size with absolutely no subject in it? Four figures against the sky doing nothing; though no doubt, like the House of Lords, 'doing it very well.' Mr. Wetherbee is charming in his Butterflies, a landscape with three figures in consentaneous movement down the ridge of the ground, in chase of the butterflies; that is not a subject picture, it is a painter's vision of a moment of delight, but its point is quite clear, and it is not, like Mrs. Knight's picture, too large for the subject.
There are pictures in the Academy that make one wonder whether some painters ever think at all of what they are painting. Here is Mr. Waterhouse, who gives us Penelope and the Suitors ; Penelope, a pretty, middle-class woman of five-and-twenty. Penelope was a middle-aged Princess with a grown-up son; the picture, under such a title, is absolutely ridiculous. If Mr. Beadle had been present when the 'forlorn hope' rushed up to the breach of St. Sebastian, he would have found them something different in action and expression from this group of stage soldiers; and here is another gentleman who paints a picture of Hunting in the Midlands, from which one would gather that the practice in the Midlands is to ride over the hounds. I should like to hear the M.F.H. on that picture.
The strong point of the Academy exhibition is really the portraits. We have no M. Humbert, but Mr. J. J. Shannon is not much behind him, and two or three of his portraits of ladies here might vie with most of the French portraits, in regard to style and colour. Mr. Orpen's portrait of a gentleman, in the second room, is exceedingly successful in making the head stand out light without the banality of a dark background; his portrait group in the third room is a very good example of his old method of portraiture, treating the sitter as a figure in the centre of a room which forms part of the subject of the picture. I prefer the portrait simply