Puslapio vaizdai


its churches set on a hill in Italian marked anywhere; but it is hardly light. Then there is Mr. Bertram sculpture in the full sense of the Priestman's Valley of the Wharfe, with a word; and the best of the nude figreal element of grandeur in the dark ures would pass but for second best at mass of rock and trees piled up in the the Palais des Beaux-Arts, however centre of the composition; perhaps as patriotism may wish it othera whole the most striking landscape iu wise. the exhibition.

It is not merely the difference of exSculpture during the last few years, ecution, but the difference in intellecthas generally been the best element in ual interest that strikes one, in the the Academy exhibitions but it is rather French sculpture especially. The vast weak this year. Mr. Brock's Justice, spaces of the Salon are typical of a a half-size model of one of the groups certain largeness in the conception of for the Victoria Memorial, has a fine art. And even the quantity of work easy sway in its lines; and Mr. Toft's is amazing. All this is the product of seated figure, forniing part of a Welsh one year's artistic work; it is an annational war memorial, with an archi- nual wonder, a testimony to the imtectural background, has a classic dig- mense vitality of the French artistic nity of style. But the Octagon Room world. Even in out-of-the-way coris made terrible by two of those co- ners one comes on things that cannot lossal figures in boots and frock-coats be passed over; even the crowd of which sculptors have to produce, ap- small works, statuettes and other parently from time to time (oportet minor fancies, on the dais at the end vivere), but which are sad sights in a of the central hall, is full of things of sculpture gallery. What hath sculp- exceptional talent. As far the ture to do with colossal boots ? Why paintings are concerned, it may be true cannot we adopt the French expedient that the proportion of good things is of confining the likeness to a bust, and larger at the Academy than at the grouping ideal figures with it, as in Salon; that there are crude and vulgar Guillaume's beautiful monument to works there—occasionally very vulgar Regnault at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts? --that would not find place in the The life-size nudes in the Lecture Room

Academy. But it would be easy to. are not very ideal either. This plump pick out fifty pictures (I have more female, with rather short legs, Ata- than sixty down in my note-book, after lanta the swift racer? Believe it passing over many works of average not. As the sporting folk say, she is excellence) any one of which would carrying too much flesh. Probably make a certain sensation at the AcadAtalanta was but a name to dignify a emy, some of them a great sensation. life-study. And the author of this The apologetic and condescending tone pain-contorted, struggling Prometheus adopted by English newspapers has assuredly never made the ac- towards the Salon exhibitions is ab. quaintance of Shelley's Titan. Two surd. With whatever faults-rather heads, Mr. Mackennal's Bust of a Lady faults of aim than of execution-it is and Mr. Leslie's The Muse of Theocritus, a great spectacle. are the best bits of marble in the Lec- The large room, No. 1, at the top of ture Room. Ur. Reynolds-Stephen's the stairs, does not present this year Memorial for the Grave of One who Loved one of those vast pictures, intended for his Fellow-men, with its bronze angel the decoration of a Mairie or other at each end, is original, and decorative public institution, which one often in effect, and as such would be re- finds there; indeed, decorative paint


ing is not at its highest this year. M. des Hespérides (33),' an immense canHenri Martin, the foremost master in vas ostensibly divided into a triptych this class of art, does not exhibit; and by two vertical bands, though the comthe largest decorative painting of the position is really continuous. It is a year, M. Grau's scene for the Hôtel de picture in a grand style of drawing Ville of Tourcoing, is not decorative, and composition, somewhat subdued in but merely an easel picture on a gigan- color and his nude nymphs are rather tic scale. But Gallery I. contains two solid in their proportions; but there is large decorative uprights: M. Gor- a glamor of the antique world about it guet's cartoon intended for a Gobeling and it will rank as one of the best and tapestry for the Parliament House at most serious of the compositions of Rennes, which shows how well the this fine artist, almost unknown in French understand tapestry design England, who combines poetry of conand its symbolical rather than pictorial ception with unsurpassed mastery in treatment; and M. Devambez' painting drawing. for the Sorbonne, intended to com- After this perhaps the three pictures memorate the fusion of the Ecole Nor- that leave most impression on the male and the Sorbonne. This, again, memory are those of MM. Paul Chais a large realistic easel picture, but bas, Joseph Bail, and Tattegrain, M. the force of effect obtained by the con- Chabas' L'Algue (18) is only inferior to trast between the dark-clad mass of his last year's work in that it is less the Ecole Normale crowd below and of a composition; it shows a young the bright robes of the Sorbonne pro- girl knee-deep in the sea, dragging up fessionals above, divided by the white a large frond of seaweed, the glistening stonework of the staircase, is very

green of which forms the darkest color striking. In the same gallery is M. in the piece; the face is turned away Tavernier's ceiling for the Salle des from the spectator, so that we lose one Fêtes of the Mairie of Saint-Mandé; element of interest, but the painting the figures float here as figures in a of the nude body and of the sea is perceiling-painting should, only it is a lit- fect-real without realism. If anyone tle marred by the attempted illusion of wants to understand the meaning of columns seen in upward perspective style in painting—that quality indetin

superstition of ceiling-painting able in words—there it is for him. which some French painters still cling That brilliant but unequal painter J. to. For the real type of decorative Tattegrain makes one of his successes ceiling-painting, imaginative and not this year in Attendant Marée Basse (7), too precise in definition, we must go a figure of a fine healthful Normandy to Gallery 22, where M. Paul Steck ex- shrimp-girl, lying prone on the shore hibits his two circular ceiling panels,

in her humble patched garments, and Réce-Pensée and Essor-Vérité, for the playing with the sand running out of Hôtel de Ville of Saint-Brieuc. The

her hands, while she waits for low tide former is especially fine; two seated,

to begin her work. It is a beautiful draped figures falling into beautiful moment out of real life. M. Bail lines of composition, gazing into

paints, on a larger scale than is usual starlight sky; the figures are just indi

with him, Les Communiantes (17), four cated in a visionary manner, not ma- 1 The figures in brackets after the titles give terialized. This is the true poetry of

the number of the room in which the painting

is to be found, which may be of use to any ceiling-painting.

reader visiting the Salon, as the preposterous

French system of an alphabetical catalogue of figure-pictures of the year the with no indication of the placing of the

pictures renders it impossible to find any most important is M. Gervais' Jardin special picture except by a process of hunting. LIVING AGE. VOL.






or five girls coming out of the suulit Psyche (6) is pretty, as she wakes and porch into the church, their white gar- stretches up her hands to a buttertly ments toned to a warm tint in the hovering above; but it is hardly spiritgolden light, an effect emphasized by ual enough for Psyche. But bung as the more darkly dressed figure stand- a pendant to it, in the same room, is ing in shadow in the foreground. Not the nude of the year, Solitude, by M. only is it a beautiful composition in Seignac; a young girl lying under trees line and color, but the faces have a ten- by the side of a lake; the whole scene, derness and seriousness of expression the trees and the distance as well as in keeping with the scene and subject. the figure, painted with the greatest

A feature of the exhibition is the tenderness and delicacy of touch--a collection in one room (16) of the late harmonious whole; a vision of pure Albert Maignan's pictures,

of beauty which one does not easily forthem old friends. They include that get. tremendous piece of diablerie called La Looking round more generally, we Toix de Tocsin, now in the museum of notice that a M. Scott (a Parisian by Amiens, where the spirits of discord birth, in spite of his name) has attug at the great bell in the centre of the tempted to do with Général San-Martin, composition; and the remarkable paint- Libérateur de l'Argentine (43) what ing in memory of Carpeaux, in which Regnault did with General Prim and the sculptor's chief works are collected his black horse; the imitation is rather together in a kind of dream composi- too obvious. M. Béroud, who so loves tion. It is to be regretted that the big pictures, has painted Le Rêve de Tentation-Eve and the serpent-is not Quasimodo à Notre-Dame; the gist of among them; one of Maignan's last the picture is that it is a grand and and finest works, which was in the solid piece of painting of Gothic archFranco-British Exhibition last year. itectural detail on a scale the size of

Nude studies abound, of course: reality; it hangs in the open gallery opmany able, as studies in execution; a posite the grand staircase. The figure is few beautiful with the beauty of line well imagined, but it is the architecand composition; none, perhaps, with ture that makes the picture. M. that higher beauty of poetic sentiment Rochegrosse has missed his mark this which is the crowning quality in a year; his Fête Intime (3) in some imposnude figure. The merely perfect ex- sible interior (the "intimity" consists ecution, perhaps, is so difficult that it in dancing with transparent garments is considered as sufficient achievement or none at all) will interest no one. M. in itself to glorify the artist. M. Roybet, on the other hand, has made Mercié, who is now almost as promi- a new kind of success in his picture nent in painting as he has long been (5) of a Flanders burgher refusing to in sculpture, chooses for the subject of pay his taxes on certain political his principal work the legend of Pyg. grounds; he has got rid for once of the malion and Galatea (27), the nude fat-faced man with the large mousstatue just beginning to flush into life. tache, and paints the scene with It is a little bit of a trick, and a trick great deal of dramatic force. A fine that has been done rather too often. picture is that by M. Ridel, Le Jet (His other picture, Jeune Parisienne, I d'Eau (6), where noble-looking could not find.) One is tired. too, of woman stands by a small sculptured La Cigale, and M. Comerre's figure of fountain, her figure relieved against a her (25) looks comfortless lying on the background of trees; one of those picdead leaves. M. Benner's Rereil de tures which suggest many meanings





without defining one; it is a poem, for (30), that of Madame Regnier, an upthe spectator who brings his right of a lady in a furred walking poetry to it.

dress, is perfect in its broad consistThere are some interesting pictures ent style, avoiding the one fault of of real life, some of them much too some of the most gifted of the French large for their subject, for the French portrait painters, the tendency to are more prone than we are to the hardness and over-precision. M. Bonpainting of genre pictures life size. M. nat does not quite escape that in his Ary, however, has made a fine picture portrait of Général Florentin (13), othout of the Versailles gardens and the erwise a fine production in which he holiday people in them, backed by the has managed to harmonize (more or rich masses of the trees. M. Sieffert less) some very inharmonious details has made a clever study, Au Salon des of official costume, as J. Schommer Poites (12), of the personalities of some

has done also in his portrait of M. of the audience the child, the senti- Nénot, the eminent architect, and at mental woman, the vulgar bourgeoise present the President of the Société old lady, and the girl whose face des Artistes Français-in other words, shows real feeling. The official pur

of the Salon. There are many beautichases of pictures are wonderful and ful portraits of ladies, bewildering. Their judgment in pur- pleasing and characteristic than that chases of sculpture is usually good; of Miss Phyllis, by Mr. MacEwen, a nilbut what they are aiming at in their tive of Chicago, though now domiciled picture purchases one cannot imagine. in Paris. And one of the chief honors Why did they buy M. J. Grün's large for portraits of men is certainly carvulgar picture, La bienvenue (18)? Is ried off by the Polish artist M. Tadé it because it represents French middle- Styka (born in Paris, however,) iu bis class life? And why M. Synave's portrait of his father (8) seated in his large coarsely-painted sketch of an ugly garden in a dressing-gown and straw woman lying on her bed in a striped hat. For ease and natural manner, petticoat? And why M. Saint-Ger- and (apparently) facile breadth of exemier's Entrée du Palais des Doges (7), cution, this is one of the cleverest porone of the worst architectural paint

traits of the year. ings I ever saw? There was some In no department is the Salon cleverness of execution in the other stronger than in landscape, though a two, but none in this. Possibly it was hasty tour of the galleries might fail supposed to be of topographical inter- to bring this out, for the French school est. They make some amends in their of landscape is, for the most part, sopurchase of landscapes, for M. ber and reserved in its treatment of Rémond's small picture, Les Moulins de nature, and is not to be appreciated Yarée (3), is a fine work in an original but by careful consideration. M. style; and M. Guillemet's La Vallée Didier-Pouget is an exception; his two d'Equihen (30: also a State purchase) large and wonderfully real and powerstill better.

ful pictures (Rooms 22 and 27) no one There are

so many fine portraits can pass by; but it must be admitted that one must be content with merely by this time that he practically only mentioning three or four exceptional paints two pictures-a morning effect ones. M. Humbert is the Gainsbor- with a high heather-clad plateau in the ough of modern France; that he has foreground, and an evening effect with studied that master closely there can- water and heavily massed trees behind not be a doubt. Of his two works it. That a man can paint two such



landscapes, however, is something to The veteran landscape-painter, M. boast of-there are those who can only Harpignies, too, still paints as finely paint one; and if the Academy would as ever, in that complete and balanced invite J. Didier-Pouget to send sam- style of his, the translation of nature ples of his two landscapes to Burling- into terms of art; if one can say of ton House, one can fancy what a sen- two perfect pictures that one sation they would create. He can, at more perfect than the other, I think it all events, be realistic without being would be that small upright, Vieur weak, and on a grand scale too. And Chênes à Villefranche-sur-Mer (25), as if one wants realism on a smaller beautiful and poetic a small landscape scale, there is nothing to compare with as ever was painted. M. Biva's L'Après-midi; Villeneuve- Nothing has been said so far of the l'Etang (7), which is quite astonishing New Salon, for indeed the new Salon in its reality of detail. Having this cannot be considered, in proportion to special power, he is right to make the its extent, as a very important exhibimost of it; but this is not, of course, tion; it is "thin sown with augbt of the typical French school of landscape. profit or delight." The most imporThe note of that school is breadth of tant thing in it is M. Besnard's decostyle, the power of giving reality of ef- rative painting for one of the four difect without losing breadth, and the visions of the dome of the Petit Palais, power to seize and express the essen- illustrating La Plastique; the three othtial sentiment of scene. In V. ers being La Pensée, La Matière, (wbich Cabié's Matinée de Novembre (1), for in- two were exhibited last year) and La stance, the foreground road with the Mystique. La Plastique is a more difsunlight on it is as real as anything ficult subject to symbolize than the in Mr. Davis's foregrounds, but it is two which have been already exbibpainted in a much broader and more ited, and it is not equal to them; but vigorous style. As examples of the the whole will be a fine decorative grasp of the essential quality of a land- scheme. M. Dubufe exhibits a rather scape may be mentioned M. Plan- fine decorative design of ships—Le quette's Dans la poudre d'or du soir, a Départ, intended for the main stairlandscape and cattle picture of one of case of the Mairie of Saint-Mandé; and those evenings in wbich the level sun- M. Roll's Jeune République, symbolized set light seems to pervade everything; by a young woman in red robes standM. Calvé's Bords du Gat-Mort (18), a ing with outstretched arms on the dark expanse of heather, painted just summit of a hill, is an effective piece as it would appear in fading twilight, of bravura. with the last light of the evening sky

The sculpture at the old Salon is, as beyond; and M. Cagniart's La Bretagne usual, a wonderful collection both in (21), grand, sombre, undulating

extent and in the number of fine things plain, with one level bar of red light in to be found in it. French sculpture is the sky, reminding one of the evening not quite what it was ten or fifteen sky in Sordello:

years ago; there is an evident striving

after novelty, at the expense someA last remains of sunset dimly

times of sculpturesque quality and of burned

rational aims. Irrational, certainly, is O'er the far forests, like a torch-flame turned

the exhibit of a team of six plaster By the wind back upon its bearer's hand

oxen, with their driver, more than life In one long flare of crimson; as a brand

size, which stretches all

one The woods beneath lay black.

end of the sculpture court. Yet, if one



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