Studio: international art — 32.1904

Page: 137
DOI issue: DOI article: DOI Page: Citation link:
License: Free access  - all rights reserved Use / Order
1 cm
The Io7udes Collection

THE IONIDES COLLECTION AT are Rembrandt, Terburg, Teniers, Paul Potter, Ruys-

SOUTH KENSINGTON. BY dael, Adrien Brower, Ostade, and Van Goyen; but

W K WEST there are other names little less notable included
in the list. The schools of the Low Countries are

Among the many private collections of works already amply in evidence both at the National

of art which have been bequeathed to the nation Gallery and at Hertford House, but this score or

during recent years, that formed by the late so of works in the Ionides Bequest are not on that

Constantine Alexander Ionides is one of consider- account the less acceptable. The Italian pictures

able importance. It was left to the Victoria and —by Botticelli, Paul Veronese, Francesca, Guardi,

Albert Museum on certain conditions, the chief of Moroni, Tiepolo, and others, number only about a

which were that it should be separately exhibited dozen, but these again are thoroughly representative,

in a gallery reserved for it exclusively, and that the The English pictures make the smallest group of

various works of which it consists should be so all, but as there are among them characteristic per-

arranged that each one should be properly visible, formances by Gainsborough, Bonington, Crome,

Although the bequest was accepted by the Museum Rossetti, Burne-Jones, and some others of little

authorities some three years or so ago, want of less repute, they cannot be considered an unimpor-

suitable space has prevented hitherto any attempt tant section. One landscape by Gainsborough has

being made to exhibit the collection to the public, exceptional charm, and the two compositions by

The pictures and drawings of which it consists have Burne-Jones—the monochrome Cupid's Hunting

been, since they came into the possession of the Ground, and the sumptuous colour arrangement

Museum, hidden away pending the completion of The Mill—are certainly in his best and most

the alterations and additions which are in progress accomplished manner. So few of his better pro-

in the building. But now, by the reconstruction ductions have passed, as yet, into our national

of the eastern side of the central quadrangle of the collections, that the presence of these two at South

Museum, some new galleries have been provided, Kensington is a matter of much moment,

and two of these have been appropriated to the Old Italian and Dutch masters are chiefly to be

Ionides works. The terms of the bequest have seen in the series of drawings ; but the presence of

been strictly carried out; the whole series is dis- many examples of Legros, Millet, and Daumier

played to excellent advantage, and its artistic im- widens the scope of this section, and gives oppor-

portance and varied interest can be fully appreciated, tunities for some most instructive comparisons.

The collection is decidedly comprehensive. It There is, too, a considerable set of Flaxman's

includes more than a thousand items altogether— precise and elegant sketches. These drawings,

eighty-two oil paintings, four hundred and thirty-two indeed, can be counted as not the least important

drawings in water-colour and other mediums, and part of the bequest; the preservation of the slighter

six hundred and fifteen etchings and engravings, works of the greater painters, past and present, is

The oil paintings are chiefly of the French, Dutch, undeniably most desirable, and the accession of so

Italian, and English schools. The greater number large a number to our already extensive store of

belong to the French school of the nineteenth such treasures is an event to rejoice over,

century, and in this section such masters as Ingres, That the etchings and engravings round off the

Delacroix, Regamey, Rousseau, Corot, Courbet, collection in an admirable way can be judged from

and Millet are extremely well represented. Many the fact that there are among them a hundred and

men of the present day have also places in the twenty-five by Rembrandt and thirty-four by Millet,

gallery, among them Degas, Fantin-Latour, L'Her- as well as a good set of Whistler's Thames plates,

mitte, and Legros. By M. Legros there is one and other prints by Rodin and Legros. This

picture which is in many respects the most admir- makes a decidedly comprehensive display of the

able canvas he has ever produced —a peasant seated etcher's art as interpreted by some of its most

under a tree, with various metal pots and other famous exponents. Educationally these works are

utensils beside him. It is a remarkable technical highly significant, because they prove what are the

exercise, and the beauty of its reserved, low-toned possibilities of the etcher's craft when it is handled

colour makes it especially attractive. by men who are unquestionable masters, and pos-

Most of the Dutch and Flemish pictures belong sessed of the power to deal with it freely and

to the seventeenth century; they are well selected, decisively. We have assuredly every reason to feel

and include much that is well worthy of preserva- gratified at the public spirit which permitted such

tion in a national collection. The chief painters a collection to become the property of the nation.

loading ...