15 DECEMBER 1944, Page 4

For a controversy to get really boiling merrily it must

be conducted by experts—in science, theology, economics, anything. Hence the vigour of The Times correspondence about C.E.M.A. exhibitions and loaned pictures, and the imprimatur that organisation tacitly gives

to the lender's ascription of the canvases to eminent artists. It might be suggested that a picture was a good or bad picture accord- ing to its inherent qualities, and irrespective of who painted it—that, in short, a Rubens by any other name would look as fleshy. But there is, of course, more to it than that. There is, in particular, money to it. An unquestioned Manet fetches one figure, a dubious Manet another. To the owner of an impugned picture ascribed to that artist I am commissioned to offer the motto MANET AETERNUMQUE MANEBIT.