Universitätsbibliothek HeidelbergUniversitätsbibliothek Heidelberg

Studio: international art — 58.1913

DOI issue:
No. 242 (May 1913)
DOI article:
The ''John Balli'' collection at the Goupil Gallery
DOI Page / Citation link: 

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The "John Balli" Collection


On May 22 there will be sold at the Georges
Petit Galleries in Paris the " John Balli " collection
of pictures. The occasion is significant for two
reasons. Firstly, because the collection contains
some choice examples of the work of the Barbizon
School which are certain to realise high prices;
and secondly, because with the disposal of these
pictures we shall see the last of those remarkable
collections brought together in England by busi-
ness or professional men who were amongst the
first to show a keen appreciation of the high
artistic qualities of the works of these French
masters, and who possessed the means to acquire
some of the finest examples of their art. The
names of Staats Forbes and Alexander Young will
always be remembered in connection with this
select group of patrons of modern art. But while
these two collectors acquired a vast number of
works (the late Mr. Alexander Young possessed
over sixty Corots and almost as many Daubignys),
the collection which is about to be dispersed
numbers only twenty-five pictures in all.

During the early part of last month the whole of
the "John Balli" collection was on view at the
Goupil Gallery, London, a gallery which has had a
long and honourable connection with the works of
the Barbizon School. Here the pictures looked at
their best, for their limited number made it possible
to give each work adequate space, and the British
public is indebted to Messrs. Marchant and Co.
for the opportunity thus afforded of seeing the
collection under such favourable conditions.

Of the six works by Corot the most important is
La Cueillette a Moriefontaine (opposite), which
displays some of the finest qualities of the master's
art. The beauty of the composition, the poetry
and rhythm, the subtle and delightful colour-
harmonies, and the atmosphere of tranquillity which
pervades the whole scene—these could only belong
to Corot. The exquisite rendering of the sunlight
on the lake with the mist rising from the water, the
characteristic treatment of the foliage, and the rich
luscious tones of the trees and foreground could
hardly be surpassed. It is interesting to note that
this noble example of Corot's genius was purchased
from the Goupil Gallery, where it was exhibited in

Lighter in tone and freer in treatment than the

'souvenir de la spezzia" by j. b. c. corot