15 FEBRUARY 1930, Page 31

Mr. Kaines-Smith draws a good, if not original, analogy between

art and the seasons in his Italian Schools of Painting (Medici Society, 10s. 6d.) :— " Iron bound winter, at once protecting, preserving and re- tarding the seed of the dead year before it ; spring, struggling to the faint sunlight, immature but exquisite ; summer; glorious in fulfilment ; autumn, flamboyant even in decay ; and last of all, before the darkness of another winter, the aftermath of -shrivelled leaves and pinched flowers, with here and there a tenacious patch of colour . . . . The buried seed of Rome lay deep in Italian soil, and the starved and frosty growths of perennial Byzantium were -all that survived the winter of the Dark Ages."

In this volume we trace the birth of modern art in Siena, its summer in Florence, and autumn in Venice. The author does little more than re-tread old ground, but his style and matter are of such uniform excellence that he has made a real contribution to the better understanding of Italian art.