Studio: international art — 25.1902

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1 cm

aurantiacum, Asarum europwum, Pteris aquilina,
Hedera helix.

The smaller size of the picture (it is 67 cent, in
breadth and 82 in height) would not only render it
easier of transport during Leonardo's wanderings
than one of the large altar-pieces of Paris and
London, but also agrees with the description of
the picture in a petition to the Duke of Milan,
lately unearthed from the archives by Dr. Motta.
Leonardo da Vinci and Ambrogio de Predis
complain to the Duke, in about the year 1494, that
the Confraternita della Concezione (for whom the
Vergine delle Rocce was painted) would not give
more than 25 ducats for the " picture of Our Lady,
painted in oils .... made by the said Florentine,"
instead of the 100 ducats, its true value. The
picture is called, not a pala cFaltare (the name for
a large altar-piece such as those of Paris and
London), but a quadro, and even a " quadro of
modest dimensions." Da Vinci threatens to take
back this picture unless the Confraternita pay him
his full price. Supposing the picture to have been
really taken back, it must have gone in 1519 to
Francesco Melzi and his heirs. Signor Sant'
Ambrogio suggests that it may have passed at the
marriage of Barbara Melzi in 1683 into the family
of the Corbella of Affori, and have remained in
the villa of the Corbellas until it was sold in the
beginning of the nineteenth century to Luigi
Taccioli, who bequeathed it in 1844 to the church
of Affori as a prazclari pictoris opus.

For the passage from the- Melzis to the Corbellas
documentary evidence is as yet wanting. If that
can be found, the internal evidence of the picture
will be confirmed, and the twentieth century
will have opened with a most interesting artistic
discovery. I. M. A.

BERLIN.-—The Lady Artists' Fete, which
took place on February 6th, is probably
one of the most unique and fantastic
festivities ever invented by artistic
minds. Three thousand five hundred members
of the fair sex, in every imaginable costume, both
masculine and feminine ! Not a man was allowed,
excepting the indispensable waiters in the supper
rooms, and they had to produce bona fide evidence
as to their calling. One year a daring young man
played the part in order to obtain admittance.
This year the Fete was entitled " Round the
World in Five Days," giving scope for a variety
of costume. The proceedings opened with a

procession of different groups, each giving a short
characteristic performance on the stage. First
came the German Navy, with stately admirals and
smart lieutenants, who commanded a set of sturdy
sailors, followed in succession by brilliant Spanish
dons, duennas, and a multiplicity of Carmens in
gorgeous attire; picturesque Italians ; the Sultan
in his palanquin, accompanied by the veiled ladies
of the harem ; Arabs and Bedouins, with their
camels; German colonials; and, wonder of wonders,
a group of Indian chiefs, with a troop of brown-
skinned feathered Indians ! The Japanese and
Chinese were, perhaps, the richest in colour ; the
costumes were real works of art as regards the
exquisite embroidery. The Russian group was
followed by Barnum & Baily's circus, and with it
came the comic element. Perched on a most
realistic elephant was a piquant little fairy, throwing
kisses as if she were used to it ; a go-cart, drawn
by black poodles, in which was seated a Liliputian
princess ; Esquimaux, with performing bears ;
acrobats, clowns, a strong man, circus riders on
prancing horses, and everything that could possibly
belong to a well-organised circus.

Dancing was kept up until the early hours of
the morning. Looking down from the balconies,
the hall resembled one vast, ever-changing kaleido-
scope. Suddenly there was a cry of " Man ! " A
daring youth had ventured to intrude, and probably
would not have been discovered had he been able
to suppress a laugh, which was unmistakably mascu-
line. He was set upon by a bevy of girls, who
pommelled and boxed him until, amidst roars of
laughter, a cordon of elderly ladies surrounded
and escorted the delinquent to the outer entrance
of the hall. A. H.


The National Portrait Gallery. Edited by
Lionel Cust, M.V.O., F.S.A. (London : Cassell.)
£6 6s. net.—It would be difficult, if not impossible,
to over-estimate the value of this publication, which,
when completed, will take rank as a unique pic-
torial record of the history of Great Britain. Its
arrangement is admirable, and the student will
derive more edification from the study of its fine
reproductions than from that of the works them-
selves, many of which are in such a bad light that
it is impossible to judge of them at all. The
Gallery in which, after many wanderings, these
heirlooms of the nation have found a final resting-
place, though especially built for their reception, is
most disappointing. Its principal feature is its
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