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Studio: international art — 6.1896

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Studio- Talk

acquaintance with these arts, speaks in a tone of
lofty superiority and recommends them to study
first the rudiments of art. It is an easy and cant
phrase, and the answer to it is that they have
already done so.

It has been too much the custom of late years
to ask the minor painter by profession to discourse
to the photographer at meetings of their societies.
The well-known photographer and writer, Mr. H.
P. Robinson, puts the case very well in a recent
article, when he says, " I have seldom found that
painters, pure and simple, who knew nothing of
the later developments of photography, were at all
fitted for the work either of giving opinions in
writing or as judges in any way. They have been
so apt to look at a photograph to discover if there
is anything in it that may be useful to themselves,
that they cannot see it as a picture, whether it is
good or bad." The best judges are probably those
who are at the same time capable painters and
capable photographers, and there are many of
these amongst the members of the society which
runs the Salon. They do not object to apply the
term art in the case of either system, but they do
not insist upon it, for, after all, when it is con-
sidered that it is claimed also by the hairdresser
and the chef, it can scarcely be said, in itself, to be
sufficiently explanatory. For the present, the
honest critic will admit that the work shown at
the Photographic Salon is work in the right direc-
tion, full of faults perhaps, but of faults which are
not of necessity due either to chemistry or optics
misapplied, and he will look for other character-
istics in his criticism. The question remains, how
are these characteristics to be qualified ?

STUDIO-TALK

{From our oivn Correspondents.)

LONDON.—The last few days of October
saw the setting in of the autumn art
season with more than usual vigour ■
and now the galleries of the various
art societies, and of the many dealers
in works of art, are occupied, one and all, with
exhibitions of one kind or another. The Royal
Society of British Artists is limiting its show to
the works of members only—perhaps a judicious
thing to do, now that nearly all the more noticeable
of the constant exhibitors in the gallery have been
admitted within the ranks of the society. The
Society of Portrait Painters fills the New Gallery
once more with a collection that includes one

excellent piece of work by Mr. Whistler, a recent
portrait by Mr. Watts, and several fine foreign
paintings. The Institute of Painters in Oils pre-
sents its usual rather miscellaneous show of cabinet
pictures ; and the New English Art Club a charac-
teristic display of new impressions.

Among the contents of the dealers' galleries
there is, too, a very satisfactory amount of variety.
The Fine Art Society has provided an excellent
collection of pastel drawings by Mr. E. A. Abbey,
which show that accomplished draughtsman to
exceptional advantage, and has another quite
appropriate attraction in the complete set of
drawings which Mr. Du Mauner executed to
illustrate Trilby. Messrs. Dowdeswell have filled
one of their rooms with water-colour studies of
Hampshire scenery by Mr. Wimperis, and another
with portraits by deceased masters of the Dutch
and English schools, the star of which show is an
exquisite flesh-colour and grey study by Van der
Heist. The Hanover Gallery is occupied with
highly respectable canvases by Royal Academicians
and other artists ; and the Clifford Gallery with
flippant drawings by Mr. Dudley Hardy. Mr.
McLean and Messrs. Tooth have, as usual, covered
their walls with cabinet pictures by prominent
British and foreign painters ; and Mr. Shepherd
offers high-class examples of the earlier English
school. The Goupil Gallery shows Dutch water-
colours.

The Institute of Painters in Oils is year by year
developing a most commendable spirit of modera-
tion in the arrangement of its annual exhibition.
A few years ago eight or nine hundred pictures
were crowded into the none too ample space
which the Piccadilly galleries afford, and even
last year more than six hundred were hung. Now,
however, the number has fallen to not more than
four hundred and seventy-eight; and, as a con-
sequence, the rooms have never looked so well,
nor have the pictures ever been seen to better
advantage. A fixed limit of four hundred and
fifty canvases would be an excellent one to impose
upon these galleries—and, indeed, upon any of
the London galleries, with the exception of the
Academy. Even at Burlington House about a
thousand examples, all told, would prove suffi-
ciently interesting to the sightseer, and would be
quite numerous enough to set before the artist as
a reasonable summary of the best productions of
the year.

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