3 MAY 1930, Page 35

Those who are interested in the doings of the art-world

a century ago will find Mr. W. T. Whitley's Art in England, 1821-1887 (Cambridge University Press, 25s.) readable and informing. He has much to say about Academicians, exhibi- tions, picture-sales and the like, and he quotes freely from the newspaper criticisms of Turner, Constable and other well- known painters, though many of these notices were silly or offensive—often both. Constable was very slow to find sup- porters in the Academy ; again and again artists who are now completely forgotten were preferred to him. Etty's pictures were denounced at the time as indecent ; to-day one would merely call them rather vulgar. The inauguration of the

National Gallery in 1824 is fully described. It is amusing to _ • _ . . . _ _ learn that the Government in 1826 was sharply criticized for paying £9,000- for Titian'-13 .,`.-Bacchus and -Ariadne,&'. and two other pictures, Never did the State make a better bargain. * * * *