A REAL noLuzirt.
THERE is a picture by-Holbein, belonging- to Mr. FaaHr,.noweto boom at- Messrs. Graves's- in Pall'Mall, which-at any-time wsulebba worth look- ing at, butjust now, when the nation has had to pay 6001, for the hard German effigy palmed upon.the,untrusty Trustees. of the:National Gallery! as the work of Holbein, it is particularly, interesting, as-showing how this great artist couldpaint. rt is a portrait- of Halbein's friend. Meyer; of Basle; the same person wha is represented.. with. hismife and children kneeling before the Virgin, and- infant Christ in: tbe famous pictormat Dresden known as the painter's chef-d'oeuvre. The head is somewhat less than life-size, and the hands are included in the picture. For exqui-: site-finish and brilliancy, of colour, it is. remarkable: in both respects itia equal to any work of Holbein's that we have seen; and it has. a greaten degree of transparency- than is commonly -forma-in his' painting. Baths finest, quality of this picture is the animated character of the-face and the delicate sensibility of its,expression. The lineaments, of the ,cenntenansa are neither harshly defined nor fixed insmooth rigidity, as-is sometimesthea case in pictures ascribed to Nolhein; but they We marked—ospecially tha mouth and nostrils—with a tender flexibility that gives the appearance of movement-to these features. The-hands- also areTowerfally -painted, and the minuteness with which the hair and beard are imitated. is marvellous. But it is the-living, breathing, sentient individuality. of the head, that cony- stitutes the surpassing merit of this portrait. We can.fancy that Holbein; when painting his, friend, would exert his utmost skill; andin.this instance it seems to have been a labour of love. None-off the Holbein headant, Hampton Court approach this-in refinement of style: evemthelamous he of Will Somers the Jester, peering through the lattice, is not equal to it in freshness.
Going from this luminously bright picture to the -cold, inky, opaque-pee- trait that hangs in the National Gallery,—s.:memento of theignoranasem& folly that tempt the cupidity- of picture-jobbers,--one only-wonders how, the Trustees-could have been so imposed upon. Hit is true that the name of Holbein had been added by the; quack who tricked. the Trustees- into giving 6001. for a picture not worth 601., surely the transaction should not rest here. There-is a very ugly name for such kinds of imposture; than* that is often-done with impunity-with pencil and paint-that could not safeir be attempted with pen and ink.