Studio: international art — 85.1923

Page: 183
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MESSRS. AGNEW'S annual exhibition
of Water-colour Drawings, held last
month, on behalf of the Artists' General
Benevolent Institution, started with the
fourteenth century (Spinelli) and brought
us up to the present day with a drawing by
Orpen. The exhibition fell into three
main groups, of which the first comprised
a small but not uninteresting collection of
drawings by old masters, Italian, Dutch,
Flemish and French ; the second a set of
twelve coloured designs for Milton's
“ Paradise Regained," together with two
other designs by that solitary genius,
William Blake ; and the third a collection
of water-colours belonging to the great
English landscape school of the eighteenth
and nineteenth centuries, a a a
By the old masters water-colour was
used for the most part either to indicate
the shading or to give a slight local tint, but

among the exceptions to this were the two
interesting landscapes by the Italian artist,
Ricci (1680-1730), both painted with
opaque colour. This produces a rich,
luminous effect which could scarcely be
obtained by transparent colour. Very
little however is to be gained by an abstract
comparison of media. The more perti-
nent question is whether an artist has
achieved something really significant in
the medium which he has thought fit to
use, and Ricci has only partially succeeded.
The foreground of his Classical Ruins is
lively and charming, but the distance is
weak. Sometimes, of course^ one can
point out that an artist has been painting
in one medium and thinking in another ;
for instance Barret seems to have been
remembering Claude Lorraine's oil paint-
ings in his ambitious Classical Landscape,
and it might possibly be questioned
whether Rossetti could not have got what
he wanted more effectively in oils than with
his peculiar mixture of media. His Hamlet

LXXXV. No. 361.—April 1923.
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