SOCIETY OF BRITISH ARTISTS.
THE display of portraiture at Suffolk-street is not of very high quality. There is a very pink little boy by Mr. Baiter, called "Master Colts," and a very yellow little boy by Mr. Hurlstone, called "Master Tollemache." Messrs. Swinton and Buckner are the only other exhibitors worthy of mention in this branch. Mr. Swinton paints ladies with a sort of flimsy grace that suggests some of Mr. Grant's least successful pictures, and Mr. Buckner, leaving for a while his large-eyed and long.-haired Italian boys, presents us with an efferail nate dandy in small highly polished boots and knickerbockers. Mr. Andrews's " Cinderella ' a large and somewhat ludicrous version of the nursery tale; the painter has endeavoured to represent the trans- formation of the heroine's attire as she flies from the ball. The red curtain is unnecessarily predominant. "The Reign of Terror—Saved from the Guillotine" is the title of a work by Mr. F. Cowie, intended to be -harrowing, but, like 'Mr. ridcling's Gaming," it produces an exactly opposite effect. An old man supports a fainting young lady, whose want of beauty almost Causes a regret that the guillotine has not done its work; a younger man, the lover doubtless, who has brought the reprieve, also bends over the girl, and the group is com- pleted by the executioner, who scratches his head while he reads the document which deprives him of a victim.' Near to this hangs a picture by Mr. ridding, called "Anticipation." A snub-nosed, com- mon-looking girl is &awing aside a window-curtain and looking out for her 'young min." A comic touch is supplied by a portrait of an old gentleman hanging on the wall, which looks out at the corner of its eyes in a sly but paternally remonstrative manner. After wading through numberless instances of works with no higher aim than that of showing how boys play on penny whistles, or devoted to coarse practical fun, such as dropping the baking-dish -containing the Sunday's dinner, it is pleasant to meet with anything showing the slightest trace of originality. And still pleasanter when, as in the present case, it is the product of an unknown man. In "The Trooper's Last Stake," by Mr. R. S. James, a swashbuckler is driving a hard bargain with an old usurer for the cuirass belonging to the former. In the background are sol- diers playing at dice. The figure of the old man is characteristic in attitude, and good in facial expression. The bravo is perhaps a little melodramatic in action, but the whole gives sufficient proof that with industry and experience Mr. James May one day paint some very Creditable picture. A little work entitled "Winter," executed somewhat in the manner and feeling of Frbre, is also by a new name, Mr. J. Bowden, unless the catalogue misinforms us, for there is much similarity between it and two pictures at the British Institu- tion (to which reference was lately made) by Mr. Boughton. An old woman and a child are sweeping away the snow from the pathway in front of their cottage: The subject is nought, but it is treated in an able and picturesque way, and the quiet tone of colour is pleasing to the eye after much gazing at the raw and garish works in its neighbourhood. Several unpre- tending little pictures of considerable merit, and painted chiefly by ladies, will be found scattered in odd nooks and corners. Foremost among these is "Rosalind and Celia," by Miss Edwards, which, though a little crude and over-definite in colour, is noteworthy for a refined perception of female beauty and tasteful arrangement of the lines and forms of drapery. Miss Blunden's "Reapers' Dessert" is conscientious and painstaking, the reaper and his children, and the background of corn-field and elms, are truly though hardly realised. Miss Brownlow paints in a broader style, her " Burnese Flower- Girl," the only one of her pictures which can be readily seen, is clever • and Mrs. Rossiter's `Baby" is a considerable improvement on anything that lady has hitherto exhibited. Mr. Heapby's Ro- man studies are well-designed and drawn—in colour they are less successful— the best of his works is entitled the "Young Pre- tender," a little girl nursing her baby brother. The baby is ca- pitally treated. Mr. Campbell's "Cellarer," a pragmatical old fellow, looking with one eye through a glass of ale, is a good bit of character; but it lacks force of effect, and is not such a favour- able example of the painter as many exhibited years ago. Mr. G. Pope contributes a graceful figure of a girl, marking her favourite pictures in an exhibition, with the title of "Art Critic." Messrs. Carl and Physick are represented by specimens of "Puppies" and "Kittens," fully as real as those already mentioned at the British Institution. Mr. Haycock paints game with force and power, as may be seen in "Fine Feathers make Fine Birds ;" and the "Fruit" of Mr. Duffield is as ripe and juicy-looking as that of his instructor, Mr. Lance.
Mr. Vicat Cole holds the most prominent position as a landscape painter. He made a stride last year, and has done even better this season. His chief work, "The Brook," in illustration of Tennyson's well-known lines, is rich in colour, powerful in effect, and truthful in detail. The different kinds of foliage are discriminated with judg- ment, and expressed with an ease and readiness of handling that never degenerates into manner or impertinence. A water-colour drawing of a church with" ivy-mantled tower," and yews and elms in an effect of twilight, has the force and solidity of an oil picture, but its greatest merit lies in the feeling and sentiment with which the painter has invested it. Mr. W. Gosling deserves great praise for the self-denial which has enabled him to eschew the vivid greens, in which he so perpetually indulged in former years. "At Stanlake Bridge" is by far the best picture he has painted, and would have been admirable had the effect been less scattered and confused. Mr. Anthony's "Pedlar's Visit" is really a study of an old half-timbered house in an effect of simple daylight, painted with great knowledge. Mr. Dounard, relinquishing figures for a time, has painted "An old Cottage—North Wales," backed up by hills and an evening sky, in a way that would reflect credit on a professed landscape painter. Mr. Leader's "Cottage Homes" is an excellent painting of a prosaic and ill-,selected subject. Other landscapes of more or less merit, but not calling for any special remark, will be found in Mr. Moore's "Passing Cloud" and "Summer Evening," Mr. Syer's "Leigh
• Woods,' "The Skirts of Wimbledon Common" by Mr. Beans, "Down in the Wood" by Mr. Banks, who made his first appearance as an exhibitor last year, and Mr. Walton's "English Autumn." In the Water-Colour Room may be seen a very clever "Study of Trees" by Mr. Tf. C. Warren, several admirably truthful drawings of Coast Scenes by Mr. Wolfe, and two well-finished Welsh Views by Mr. Keys. The figure-subjects in this room are chiefly contri- buted by the Messrs. Bouvier, whose vapid single figures of straight nosed, large-eyed girls, fitted with Scriptural or Shakspearean names, and utterly destitute of bone, truth, or character, must be only too