27 FEBRUARY 1948, Page 26

Shorter Notices _ Early Netherlandish School' Plates. (National Gallery Catalogues.

25s.) STUDENTS will be aware that the National Gallery authorities, profit- ing by the exceptional opportunities for study arising out of the war, are issuing a new series of catalogues to replace that of 1929. Three of these very much more full and more useful works are so far available. Now comes the first instalment of plates. This is a splendid volume of photogravure reproductions of the 123 paintings covered by Mr. Martin Davies' catalogue of the early Netherlandish School (or rather 121, for two recent acquisitions are included). It is altogether a model, in that it is large in format, as such books must be to be of value ; it includes no colour plates, which can never be authoritative save at prohibitive prices ; and it contains no redundant descriptive matter. One or two detail plates—one can see almost more in the Arnolfinis' mirror than in the painting itself—are in- cluded, and the whole is a tremendous advance on past ventures of a similar nature. When all the schools have been covered, as is the intention, the Director and Trustees will have made available a superb source of reference that will be indispensable to anyone, who takes painting seriously.