22 MARCH 1930, Page 13


[PAINTINGS BY CEDRIC MORRIS : ARTHUR TOOTH AND SON, LTD., 155 NEW BOND STREET, W.A..T Ma. CEDRIC MORRIS'S new paintings at Messrs. Tooth's Galleries are extraordinarily attractive. 'There are fewer bird pictures, but more landscapes and flower studies than in the last show of two years ago, and the reputation he made then is solidly increased by the present exhibition. Of the new landscapes, Barns at Shelly Priory, Shelly Church, Suffolk, November with.its grey lake and grey hills, The River Stour in Flood, and Fingeringhoe Saltings should be noticed particu- larly. Mr. Morris has that rare and enviable gift of being able to translate into paint the peculiar character of a given land- scape, with the result that the finished picture is undeniably Suffolk or Essex, or wherever it may be and nowhere else. Landscape, however, is not this young painter's chief interest. He possesses an unusual personal vision of the beauty—not the decorative possibilities only—of birds and of flowers ; and he is the only living painter who can paint birds through a knowledge of their ways and habits unphotographically. One of the best pictures here is French Occupation, a daring but completely successful study of a pair of French red-legged partridges, standing in the centre of a clump of white, mauve and purple German iris. The orchestration of this medley of vivid colour is perfectly arranged. Pintail Ducks, although the background of sea and headland is not wholly satisfactory, is another good picture. Mr. Morris possesses a deep feeling for the beautiful and strange .forms of cacti and succulents, and with them he produces a new variant of still life which might be christened the " natural history still." The best examples here are Jardin Exotique, an imaginary composition of cacti and orchids, to. which is added the interest of a great brown Milkweed butterfly, a green Oleander Hawk Moth, and other insects, and Virginian Partridges, a study of a pair of these charming little birds in a cover of green and sea-green cacti. Mr. Morris's trick of exciting interest with the intro- duction of insects and birds in flower pieces is an elaboration of the old Dutch device. Hips and Haws, End of August, and Goldfinches are good examples. End of August is 'a superb decoration of late autumn flowers—marigolds, sunflowers; galtonias and gladioli. Among the flaming blossoms, half concealed by the mass of colours, are a cock blackbird and a Red Admiral butterfly. It is very successful. Two other exceptionally fine flower studies, September Flowers and October Flowers, deserve 'attention. It will be noticed in all Mr. Morris's flower paintings that he is more preoccupied with the beauty of the individual flower than with the whole mass. It is this very genuine personal feeling which gives the rather elusive character to all his work. This exhibition remains open to the end of the month.