28 JUNE 1945, Page 10


IT would be interesting to see more exhibitions in which modern paintings were not carefully segregated from the old masters. I would like to see a Rembrandt between two Renoirs, a Toulouse Lautrec drawing next to a Leonardo caricature, or a Sutherland next to a Blake. It might benefit contemporary painters and the public. Sir Hugh Walpole's collection, the third instalment, fulfils this desire of mine to some extent. The graphic arts section of Sir Hugh's large collection fills two rooms and is as interesting as the two preceding exhibitions devoted, to his possessions.

Rembrandt etchings, usually confined to specialist galleries, hang near a Renoir lithograph, a John hangs near a Ribera, and Picassos are on the wall not far from Durers. It is perhaps not surprising to find that they hang very well together. Sir Hugh, catholic as always, gathered together a fine and diverse collection of etchings, lithographs and woodcuts, of which a hundred and forty-four are on view. The Lautrecs are outstanding, the big Daumier litho- graph, "Rue Transnonain, le 13 Avril, 1834," is one of that master's 1 finest and grimmest lithographs, and altogether the exhibition is well chosen and of excellent quality. 1 At the Arcade Gallery is a collection of Dutch and Flemish pictures of the seventeenth century. Some are very fine. The Rubens oil sketch for the title page of a book is alone worth a visit. The Hercules Seghers, one of the least-known %id greatest of Dutch landscapists, is a miracle in parts. The left side is breath-taking;

the right foreground is not quite so happy, but it is nevertheless a fine painting. The famous Hals, the so-called "Hamlet," leaves one

gasping, not because it is a moving picture, which it is not, but because the ease of execution and the suave .grace of the actual brushstrokes are in a class by themselves. There are two horrible Van Dykes ; one, a St. Sebastian, is so slick it would make a bad Sargent portrait seem solid. The other is a heavy and sentnnemal "Pieta." There is also a little picture of two negroes ascribed to

Rembrandt. It may be a Rembrandt, but it is not very good, the right-hand figure is weak. I am quite prepared to believe it is a genuine bad Rembrandt, one of the rarest things on earth. It ik a curious thing that experts will so rarely allow great masters to have painted rank bad pictures. Most really bad Rembrandts are attri- buted nowadays to his pupils and, sad to say, really good pictures

by Phillips Koninck, Bol, Lievens, Fabritius or Gerard Dou are liable to be ascribed to the master. It seems unfair.