17 FEBRUARY 1855, Page 18

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An admirably luminous sky, and a foreground thronged with novel detail yet finely modulated and harmonized into breadth, mark Mr. Anthony's " Wood-yard, Evening." The picture is pretty nearly halved between these two constituents of sky and foreground : the first passing from a light fiery hue at the horizon into indefinable subtilties of blue, and above into pallid crimsons; the second strewn thickly with gnarled and knotty faggots of tough boughs of trees. Behind these rises a cottage at whose door the domestic group of father, mother, and baby, enjoy the sweet beginnings of twilight, and sheds and cattle are to be Been behind. Of all Mr. Anthony's recent works, we know none that combines with the accurate making-out of parts for which he is now remarkable, so much of that oneness and intensity of impression stamped upon his earlier style. The space and importance assigned to the sky will strike most eyes; and, by throwing into tone all the rest of the picture—otherwise full of salient varieties of colour and material—contribute very powerfully to the effect of a quiet and happy day-close, still brilliant with sunset, but mo- mently getting towards dusk. The work is one of those which it is a boon to have seen. Most unaccountable and discreditable is the way in Which the managing body has hung another picture apparently of much the same order of excellence—Mr. F. Medea Brown's "English Autumn Afternoon, Hampstead—Scenery in 1853." The details are undis- eemible, and even the general effect is veiled ; but one can see a highly original point of view, a rich natural' profusion, and a glow of sunny con- trast. We infer that the work is in reality the most striking feature of the exhibition. A third landscape studied with complete faithfulness and understanding is Mr. Leaes "Windsor Castle from St. Leonard's

The wavy sweep of grass, with the powdery effect of single sunny blades zelieved against broad spaces of shadow, the wealth of thick-leavedArees, and the blue distance, are finely expressed. Perhaps this distance is somewhat too azure, the green too uniform in tone, and the trees deficient in roundness ; and the expanse which diminishes the sheep and other mid-way objects in comparison with the life-sized foreground is scarcely enough realized to the eye. But it is the production of a genuine man, demanding and requiting prolonged inspection : no nonsense, no trick, no hieroglyphic of manner put in the place of fact. Another and very oppo- site, but still a truthful treatment of the same subject, is Mr. Dawson's "Windsor Castle, Morning." Here the impression of an effect counts for more than any individual features ; whether the water and the barge struck by keen pale beams, the further objects emerging from their night-trance, or the hither side of the trees still cold in morning twilight. We meet in this exhibition for the first time Mr. H. F. Witherby, the author of "Early Spring, Kent." It is the work of a true designer and observer; characterized by that grudging, yet touching, graciousness of a tardy English spring—full, indeed, of the right sentiment and method, and thoroughly done at all points. The contrast of the harsh hollow trunk and scarce-sprouting trees with the frequent freshness of the prim- roses which star the foreground expresses the season charmingly. A study of hollyhocks from the same hand has a similar quality of choice- n. Mr. T. Danby's "Ladies of the Woods," a bevy of birch trees with their delicate grey-green, and his more important "Trophies of Youth," representing a lad carrying over a lake-like water a child from whose hand trail the long grasses he has been plucking, are two of the very pleasantest of his many pleasant works. The limpid water and shade in the second are very sweet, but the colour is a little sultry. "The Salmon-trap" by Mr. Deane, with its violet and yellow hues, and the "Welsh River, Evening,"—extremely like one of his last year's pie- tures,—are beautifully felt; the lucid atmosphere of the latter singularly sharp and fine. Exquisite qualities of freshness and bright perception in this artist will insure something memorable provided he be sternly on his guard against mannerism and self-repetition. The same may be partially said of Mr. Raven; whose "Road to the Homestead," though somewhat blotchy, is a great advance in colour. From the prolific Mr. Holland comes, among other contributions, a view of "The Rialto" with two graceful figures of young girls—slight, like all his productions, but chosen with a fanciful taste so vivid and picturesque as to be quite lovely.

Of established reputations, we have Messrs. Creswick, Lee, Fielding, and Branwhite, who are much as usual; Mr. Linton's two contributions are the best examples we have seen from him for two or three years ; and Mr. Cooke exhibits, in the" Canale degli Orfanelli, Venice, Sunset," the most original effect we remember in any picture of his—with a great deal too much of the paint-brush in it, yet valuable, because evidently after nature in a peculiar aspect. The "Copthorne Common" of Mr. H. Weekee junior—a curve of road-way sweeping from a windmill, with a dusky storm gathering, and a flock of sheep huddling off to shelter—is also peculiar ; rendered with straightforward sense and competence, but with so entire an absence of making-up or exaggeration as to seem at first sight deficient in style. But that may be rather a credit, rightly.con- sidered, than a fault. The Honourable C. S. Hardinge, one of the clever- est of amateurs, gives a capital smoke-grizzled view,uf "Antwerp!? Mr. Ferguson's a Stackyard in Kent" possesses cleverness and practice,, but- implies a taint of mechanism that will never transcend a certain level. Mr. Dillon's "Evening on the Tagus" is ambitious in the Denby man- ner • efficient and somewhat striking, but not with very much in it. Small worits of merit are Mr. Burgess's " Abergavenny from the foot of the Sugar-loaf Mountain," which displays an unflinching aim at the render- ing of partial high light; Mr. Davidson's "Sunset after a Storm "—the beat he has exhibited in oils ; and Mr. Walter's slight but agreeable "Corner of the Garden." These of Mr. Bonser and Mr. Johnson seem good, and in a more marked degree Mr. Whaite's and Miss B. L. Smith's "Ferns and Foxgloves "—the last manifestly careful and individual in form, though apparently low in colour ; but all these are hung out of sight. Mr. Hering is feeble in the got-up picturesque ; Mr. J. Webb clever and sea-like in "Canting to the Flood, in the Medway " ; Mr. G. Stanfield improving; and Mr. R. Elmore, also beyond the range of critical vision, seems to maintain his promise of originality in the "View of Barnstaple,"—the colour of which, however, looks languid and effaced.

There are two gratifying appearances in the animal department. Mr. Bottonrley, whom we encountered once before in the Academy, shows by his "Giving the Dogs a Lift—Scene in the Highlands" that he can both choose and treat a subject for himself. Here the dogs, snuffing, alert, and otherwise exhibiting excellent modifications of dog-like expression, have been taken up into the sportsmen's "trap," which trundles on at a brisk pace over the heath. Life, gusto, and command of the materials, abound; the execution is characteristic, but rather sketchy,—and this is more strongly the defect of Mr. Bottomley's other contribution. Mr. George Landseees "Persuasion "—a graceful little band of deer crossing a mountain-tarn—develops in a far more unalloyed degree than hereto- fore the precious qualities of a feeling for beauty and natural sweetness which have been traceable in former productions. The picture is one ca- pable of affording no little pleasure ; the gentle timid motions of the fawns and their dams, and the clear blue depths of the lake skimmed by exhaling mist, afford opportunities of which the artist has availed himself in a mood akin to some of Sir Edwin's own in dealing with such subjects, though of course considerably less mature. The sky and right-hand trees are touched in hurriedly and in a makeshift fashion. Mr. Roe threatens to subside into flimsiness. Mr. Stark's "Film-yard" is laudably free from all affectation of style; and Mr. Dexter has chosen the materiel of his "Lark and her Young" with enough natural pleasantness to make us trust to see him improve upon it in colour and general execution. Mr. Lance flames in the van of the still-life with a large composition entitled "Fruit,"—the principal item of which, and far the best painted, is a dead peacock. The rest is somewhat mechanical for all its skill; and even the peacock, though his tail gleams gorgeously, has a breast whose feathered blue is mere pigment. Mr. Swarbreck has a nice interior; Mr. Gray some agreeably felt though not very elaborate flower bite; and Mr. W. J. Webbe has expended upon his "Hedge-bunk in May" an amount of stubborn Preraphaelitism, which, though here crude and wild enough, may be looked for to bear mellower fruit in its season.

In sculpture two works, and two only, deserve to be noticed, and of both these models have been before seen at the Royal Academy : Mr. Weekes's extra-fantastic "Young Naturalist," and Mr. Munro's " Child's Play "—artistically group.ei and finished, and delicately infantine in ex- pression.