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Studio: international art — 13.1898

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Studio- Talk

incident with its flavour and freshness all uriim- infallibility, and there is a touch of pathos in the

|HI jr(j strenuousness with which he clings to the convic-

These are remarkable qualities in an artist of tion of a lifetime ; but as he has, by exhibiting his

this kind, and they amply suffice to justify the great collection at the Gra/ton Gallery, invited a wider

reputation of Caran d'Ache. opinion on these pictures, there is nothing to be

GABRIEL MOUREY. gained by tempering criticism to a shorn enthu-
siast. The only possible view that can he taken is

_ \I K l^Ul ^c^ar ^ias ^een crue^v deceived, and that

a great number of worthless daubs have been con-

(From our own Correspondents.) fidingly accepted by him because he has lacked the

knowledge and observation necessary to enable

LONDON.- It is difficult to say whether him tQ discriminate between real works of art and
Mr. Sellar is to be congratulated on his m()rc Qr ,css clumsy imitations. It might be going
courage, or blamed for his want of dis- tQQ far to say that his collection does not contain
cretion, in refusing to accept as final anything genuine, but it certainly includes nothing
the judgment of Sir Edward Poynter, of the first mnk? and little that [s eyen moderately
and the other experts, upon the collection of " Old g0od. Many of the ascriptions to well-known
Masters "which that assiduous collector was anxious masters are almost childishly inappropriate. To
to present to the Guildhall Gallery. There is, no assignj for mstance, to Franz Hals, that superbly
doubt, something sublime in his faith in his own djrcCt manipulat01. varioUs fumbling and ill-drawn

studies is ridiculous; to credit Greuze with the
authorship of the clumsy and poorly-painted Girl
in a Niglitdress is a piece of incredible absurdity;
and to ticket with such names as Rubens, Rem-
brandt, Watteau, Paul Veronese, Turner, Titian,
Jan Steen, and others of equal repute, the farcical
caricatures with which the rooms of the Grafton
Gallery are crowrded is a lamentable mistake. To
many of these productions it is not possible to give
even the benefit of the doubt; they stand self-con-
victed as patent shams.

si 17 dy

There are, however, lessons to be learned from
this collection. Every picture-buyer should see it,
and every one who is bitten with the mania for
spending money on works of art of which the
value is a matter of speculation ; for it cannot be
doubted that Mr. Sellar's case is that of scores of
other proud possessors of " Old Masters." Unless a
picture by a long-deceased artist has an absolutely
flawless pedigree, the chances of its being genuine
are small enough, and the man who buys it as a
speculation is almost certain to make a bad bar
gain. He would do far better if he confined his
attentions to the work of living men. If he has
any judgment or power of selection, he can make
sure of gathering together a thoroughly good show
of paintings whose authenticity is beyond question :
and if he makes his collection in the studios of the
rising men, rather than those of the popular favour
ites, whose prices have been inflated by momentary
fashion, he will invest his money wisely and with
the certainty of later profit. The collectors who,
by caran i>'.\< in. not so many years ago, bought for a few pounds
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