Studio: international art — 35.1905

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Exhibition of Besnard's IVorks

in turning their attention to this momentous sub-
ject of the composition and preparation of grounds
for painting. Mr. Batten has been engaged in
a series of tests, embracing a variety of priming
materials which differ in density of body as
also in degrees of roughness or smoothness
of surface. Several preparations may be bought
ready-made, such as “keene” and “sirapite;” but
many artists naturally prefer to mix their own
priming according to the requirements of the
particular work in hand. Sir William Richmond
paints on a wall surface of slaked lime, while
Mr. H. Payne mixes marble dust or sand with
the lime plaster, as in the case of his decorations
for Lord Beauchamp at Madresfield. Mr. Batten,
for the ground priming of his own picture panels
(as, for example, in his charming Atalanta and
Melanion), has culled a recipe from Vibert’s “ La
Science de la Peinture,” published in 1891.
Slaked plaster of Paris is mixed with water and
a little ammonia, and finally, in place of parch-
ment size, caseine—a pre-
paration of cheese-glue,
with the fatty matter ex-
tracted. Though this does
not keep well it is more
insoluble in water than
ordinary size is, and there-
fore affords a surface com-
paratively less absorbent
for painting. Mr. Cayley
Robinson, recently ad-
mitted to the Society, in
order to stop the thirst of
the ground before painting,
treats the surface with a
thin coating of shellac.

I have not space to do
more than mention the illu-
minations. A purple-stained
vellum-leaf with gold and
silver lettering, by Graily
Hewitt, and a page of
“The Song of St. Francis,”
written out by the last-
named artist, and deco-
rated with a beautiful
coloured border by Miss
Florence Kingsford, were
specially noticeable; while
interesting essays in the
application of ancient
principles to a more
modern type of ornament


are embodied in Mr. Cowlishaw’s floral border
to the story of “ Aucassin and Nicolette ”; as
also in some specimens of illumination by Mr.
Allen Vigers, who has already established his
reputation as a designer of wall papers, after a
manner that suggests the quaint illustrations ot
some old Herbal.

It remains only to acknowledge the courtesy of
those artists who have kindly allowed their work
to be reproduced and of the directors of Messrs.
Carfax & Co. for granting facilities to photograph
the same while on exhibition at their premises.

Aymer Yallance.

The exhibition of bes-


The exhibition of works by the painter Besnard,
which has taken place at the Galeries Georges Petit
during the months of June and July of the present

portrait of mlle. dayot (In M. Dayof s Collection) by A. besnard
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