6 OCTOBER 1888, Page 3

Mr. Harry Furniss, in a clever lecture delivered at the

Birkbeck Institution on Wednesday, declared that, while we had few good portraits of any historic personages, we had no satisfactory portrait either of Lord Beaconsfield or of Mr. Glad- stone. Sir John Millais' portrait of the former was only a study of his face under the influence of approaching death. Mx. Gladstone, again, had too mobile a face, one which could never be fully appreciated in the intercourse of the studio. To paint a man rightly, you should live with him, as a Japanese artist lives with the flower he sketches, and watch him when utterly unconscious. Is not Mr. Furniss asking a little too much of merely human art ? If Titian painted Mr. Gladstone, he could fix only one of his hundred expressions, and the one, however characteristic, could not be the whole man. Mr. Gladstone in playful mood, and Mr. Gladstone denouncing coercion, have two very different faces.