15 JUNE 1929, Page 12


At the French Gallery, 120 Pall Mall, Mr. de Laszlo is exhibiting thirty-five portraits and studies. Practically all his subjects have titles, orders and decorations are as plentiful as asparagus in May, and the catalogue reads like a page or two out of Debrett. The artist, like many other portrait painters, is variable, and while he is never unkind to any of his sitters, one feels that he is often inclined to be over-indul- gent. It may be that he is too impressed or overawed by the importance of those he paints, but in many of his.portraits the treatment becomes artificial, and characteristics appear to be sacrifided to the making of a pretty picture. The simpler he becomes, the more pleasing his work. Two of the pleasantest, and certainly the most sympathetic, portraits are those of his wife and his mother (Nos. 1 and 9). There is a genuine kindli- ness about both which makes, them at once noticeable, and one can feel the artist's delight in painting them. Another simple and sympathetic study is The Right Hon. Viscount Haldane. It is a good likeness, painted without hardness. The Right Hon. T. M. Healy, on the other hand, though a good likeness is rather harsh. In painting Lady Buchanan Jardine and Mrs. Paul Bridgeman the artist adopts the style of Gains-

borough, but in neither case is he very successful. The figures stand out in too rigid- a manner, and the landscape back- ground in the latter is too uncertain to impress. Count Stephen Bethkn, with the green ribbon contrasting with the general dull tone, is the most successful of- his more com- plicated portraits. This exhibition we are told marks the occasion of the artist's sixtieth birthday. We join in wishidg him many more yeari in which to practise and enjoy his art. G.