THE LAY FIGURE. Hcity of taste. The British artist of the younger
kind is so singularly narrow."
" I have been thinking"," said the Lay " I am inclined to think," meditated the Lay
Figure, as the Man with a Clay Pipe Figure, as he turned smilingly to the Impressionist,
dropped in, "about the past year. Was who nodded approval, "that you are all wrong,
it notable from the artist's point of There has been no more interesting event in the
view ? " whole year than the Exhibition of International
"Well," replied the Man, as he reached for the Art at Knightsbridge."
matches, " we shall know that better in May." "Yes," said the Impressionist, with something
"Yes," said the Landscape Painter, "of course like a little honest pride, "I think we have, for
you mean the weather ? Now, I think you will find once, given a demonstration of what is meant by
that the summer was too wet and the autumn too the Universality of Art."
hot for good landscape. Next year will produce a "I don't agree with you," said the Man with a
procession of pot-boilers." Clay Pipe. " It was a Congress of Cliques—inter-
" An interesting essay might be written," re- national if you like ; but severely select."
marked the New Man, " on the influence of the " Of course," replied the Impressionist, " we ex-
weather on art. Or the Critic might bear it in mind eluded the academic people." *
as a factor in the evolution of his next year's master- " You mean," remarked the Landscape Painter,
pieces." " that you did not invite them."
"Thank you," replied the Critic. "It is so " If you like," answered the Impressionist sweetly,
pleasant and so unusual to have one's little efforts " You see they don't know us, so we couldn't."
acknowledged. We do help the struggling painter " I think you were right," said the Lay Figure,
to an idea or two about his work occasionally." " and the result justified you. You need not
" Talking of masterpieces," said the Lay Figure, mind what people say about cliques. What a
" it is remarkable that 1898 has produced so few. wonderful assembly it was! All the rebellious
One would have expected that the reaction after spirits of the last generation, side by side with the
the Jubilee would have given such a stimulus to leaders of the present.
artistic achievement." " I admit," said the Critic, " that the exhibition
" Again let me point out," said the Man with a was not without a certain significance. Some
Clay Pipe, "that you are a little previous. This credit must be given to the experiments of youth."
year is to see the effects of that debauch of misun- " I wonder," the Lay Figure resumed, " if any one
derstood pageantry. In 1898 we were suffering knows how young Whistler really is. Will he still
from the anti-climax; and I fear little has been be preaching the gospel of good taste—in things
done of any account." pictorial—to our great grandsons and their talented
The Impressionist had been unusually silent, and sisters, and be looked upon as a revolutionary
it was almost with diffidence that he now remarked, even unto the twentieth and twenty-first centuries ?"
"I think there was an exhibition." " I am bound to say that I enjoyed the exhibi-
"Of course," shouted the Landscape Painter; tion," said the Landscape Painter: "Clausen and
" that superb show of the old Italian artists of the Adrian Stokes always appeal to me, and I found
Lombard School. What a treat that was for any Zorn curious."
one with an eye for colour ! " . " Well," remarked the Man with a Clay Pipe,
" Our young friend," murmured the Critic, " was " I don't mind confessing, myself, to an appreciation
not thinking of the Lombard School. I did ,not of J. J. Shannon's Miss Kitty."
know that he had been to Amsterdam to see the " And surely," said the Lay Figure, " you must
Rembrandts. Now I shall look forward with the concede something to the enterprise which gives
greatest interest to his future exploits, for it is you that side by side with Manet's Vagabond
impossible that so perfect a lesson can have been Musicians, and characteristic examples of Blanche,
thrown away on him. The greatest master of light Puvis de Chavannes, James Pryde, Cecilia Beaux,
and shade--" Thaulow, Guthrie, Aman-Jean, Sauter, Crawhall,
" He doesn't mean that," interrupted the Man Breitner, Muhrman, Thoma, E. A. Walton, Stuck,
with a Clay Pipe; " he has been to South Ken- Klinger, Segantini, Greiffenhagen, Steinlen, Rodin,
sington. Now I quite agree with him as to the and Macmonnies. I think, from one point of view or
importance of the Lithograph Show. And I hope the other, we are agreed that the exhibition was one
it will have endowed him with a little more catho- of the great events of 1898. The Lay Figure.