12 SEPTEMBER 1908, Page 26

Cruikshank. By W. H. Chesson. (Duckworth and Co. 2s. and

2s. 6d. net.)—This is a volume of "The Popular Library of Art.' As to the illustrations there can be no doubt. There are more than fifty of them, and they represent Cruikshank's career very completely. He was born in 1792, and he lived down to 1878. His artistic life covered the period of seventy-six years. There is a drawing done in his eighth year, and another which dates from his eighty-third. This can be matched in the history of art, but not in many cases. Mr. Chesson shows that he appreciates the artist, sees his merits, and is aware of his limitations. But we have found the style in which he sets forth his knowledge dis- tinctly fatiguing. Why cannot he say what he means without using these tours de force? Why, for instance, say : "A wretch writhes on four pikes which take his weight and take it back in torture " ? It is not difficult to imagine that to write such thing gives a certain pleasure,—but to read thorn!