LADY BUTLER'S SKETCHBOOK AND DIARY4 LADY BUTLER'S book consists of
four chapters, Ireland, Egypt, the Cape, and Italy. The division is suggested by the " Sketchbook " aspect of her volume. Of this aspect, unfortunately, we can give our readers no idea, except by saying that the illustrations, which number forty-nine in all —twenty-eight being full-page pictures in colour and twenty- one small sketches in the text—are worthy of Lady Butler's reputation as an artist ; perhaps we may add that "At Philae" and "Abu-Simbel " are particularly striking, the former being all the more interesting because it gives a view which since the days of the Barrage has ceased to be. It is the Diary, therefore, to which we naturally turn. Here the author tells us, among other things, of her art educa- tion. It was in Florence, in the studio of Giuseppe Bellucci, that she worked. But it seems to her ungrateful to speak of Florence and not to say a word about her earlier training at South Kensington" under thoroughgoing Richard • Egypt. By Pierre Loti. Translated from the French by W. P. Baines. London : T. Werner Laurie. [15s. net.]
t Front Sketchbook and Diary. By Elizabeth Butler. London: A. and' C. Black. [10s. net.]
Burchell." And here comes in a very pleasant little memory. It is of the Sketching Club, where, -we read, "Old D— used to give 'Best' nearly every day to Kate Greenaway and ' Second Best' to me." "What joy," she adds, "when I got a ' Best ' one fine day "; from that time Kate Greenaway and she "raced neck and neck." How curious it is to read this when we remember how very wide apart were their paths in art in after life, Kate Greenaway with her dainty little figures of boys and girls, and Elizabeth Thompson, as she then was, with the stern realism of the Charge of the Light Brigade. There came a time when the heat
made the Florence studio impossible, and her teacher sug- gested Uri tnesetto di riposo. The "little month of repose" was spent in the country. "I sketched the people and oxen and mixed largely in peasant society." And -what peasants
they seem to have been! They talk the purest and most grammatical Tuscan, helping their visitor to get rid of her "Genoese twang," and the eldest girl Carlotta reads "Jerusalem Delivered" to the visitor by moonlight. Here- after we shall be more ready to believe that Virgil drew his cultured peasants of the Eclogues from the life. It was in Rome that Miss Thompson started for herself. Signor Bellucci had told her that she could "walk by herself." The first thing that she did was to choose a model. It was "a judgment of Paris inverted." Three men in peaked hats and goatskins stood before her, and she gave the apple of employment to Antonio for his "good brown face and red waistcoat" It will be seen that there is good reading in the book ; the art will have been taken for granted.