Studio: international art — 29.1903

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AT the present time there are two schools of portrait painting, and their aims and methods
contrast strongly with each other. The one may be described as the French School, because it
has spread all over the world from the Parisian ateliers; the other is the English School, or perhaps we
ought to say the British School, which has little formative influence on the Continent of Europe.
The former is a school more or less of impression : its aim is to avoid particularities and to give,
in a free, masterly and dramatic manner, the general aspect and character of the person sitting.
Mr. J. S. Sargent, undoubtedly, is by far the greatest living master of this French style of
portraiture. The British manner, at its best, is far more minutely constructive, for the artist's attention
is fixed searchingly on every small part of his subject, and he obtains his general effect by the
skill with which he gathers his elaborately studied parts into a whole. His brushwork is closer and
more precise than that employed by the impressionistic French School; and there is commonly
less analysis accompanied by greater homeliness of sympathy. His work as a consequence looks well
in a room, but is generally eclipsed by French work in the public galleries.

It has fallen to the lot
of Mr. Harrington Mann
to produce a form of por-
traiture that unites in a
pleasant manner many of
the best qualities of both
schools. It is sufficiently
French to be admired by
those whose tastes are
wholly Parisian; it is
sufficiently British to find
for itself a place among our
national works of art. Mr.
Mann is also fortunate in
possessing a receptivity of
temperament and style
which helps him to succeed
equally well whether his
subject be a child, a woman,
or a man. He is a portrait
painter in the widest sense,
and not merely a specialist
of one kind of portrait.
There was a time when his
paint had a tendency to be
rather dull and earthy. But
this defect is passing away ;
and we notice, too, that,
unlike many of his con-
freres, he leaves room for
his colour to mature with
age. In short, Mr. Har-
rington Mann deserves the

reputation which has come william> francbs, and michael black from the portrait group

to him early in his career. by Harrington mann

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