THE NEW ENGLISH ART CLUB.
TEE pictures which one would rather not see in the present exhibition are fortunately inconspicuous, hence the generally pleasant effect of the gallery upon the eye. There are a few survivals of antiquated methods which recall exhibitions dead and done with. A few of yesterday's modernists are to be seen, looking faded and pathetic with their elaborate and laborious efforts to make trees unrepresentative and monumental, which have only resulted in the fashioning of a dreary convention. Here we again meet with the still life painter who would lose his self-respect if he did not remain true to his common black bottle with the crooked sides. But these things are not at all insistent and they can be disregarded easily and need not keep us from the enjoy- ment of the many good pictures to be found here.
Mr. John has two masterly portraits. The one of his own son (77) is a painting of great force of characterization. The workmanship is serious and dignified without bravura, but every touch is vital and accomplished. The other picture shows two red-haired boys (14), more brilliant in execution, but most successful in grouping, for the two figures by sympathetic line and colour are unified, the design being largely helped by the gracious sweep of the arm holding the boat. Sir Charles Holmes seems to come nearer than most to the solution of the problem of the 'treatment of landscape on the principles of design, without going so far from nature as to be dull and meaningless. Both his Test Valley (12) and the Papal Palace, Avignon (61), are fine works, in which we feel that the creative designer has been at work, who, starting with an aesthetic emotion, has been able to make it manifest by means of beautiful forms and colours. Some other landscapes have this quality of the use of natural forms not for representation but for decoration, notably so Miss Gere's Swiss Walkers (88), Mr. Southall's The Fishing Boat's Return (86), Mr. Glintenkamp's Approaching Storm— Ronda (42), Miss Atwood's Hoppers (2), and Mr. Collins Baker's Isle of Wight (45), this last being a triumph over the difficulties of the chessboard effect of a wide view over English hedges and fields.
Mr. Paynter and Mr. Maclagan both make Biblical subjects the excuse for works of decorative feeling founded on primitive art, the former in (19) approaching the past through PuYis de Cheyennes and the latter in (102) going more directly to Italy. Both pictures show qualities which promise a fuller flowering.
The drawings and the water-colours are, perhaps, not of such a high quality as they generally are here, but all the same there are many good things to be seen, and among them Mr. F. H. S. Shepherd's Head of an Old Woman (155), which is delightful far its sympathetic drawing and finely reticent
use of colour. The Seine (113), Mr. A. L. Knoff, The Old Mill (123), Mr. Howard, and Fittleworth Mill (125), Mr- K. A. West, are all good.
Professor Tonics shows an elaborate caricature in which Mr. Roger Fry lectures a row of distinguished impressionist painters and others. The work is not unamusing, if rather heavy handed, and at any rate makes us value higher than
ever the whimsical mastery of Max. H. S.
(The usual" Recreations of London " will be found on page 80.)