29 JANUARY 1921, Page 3

The National Art Collections Fund asks for £3,500 to complete

the purchase of an exceptionally fine picture by Pieter Brueghel the elder for the National Gallery. Brueghel is the only Flemish master who is not represented in the collection. This " Adora- tion of the Magi," one of his few signed and dated works, was painted in 1564, and is in perfect condition, as visitors to the National Gallery may see for themselves. It illustrates without irreverence the almost grotesque realism of Brueghel's art. The Virgin, the Magi, the stolid peasants, and the armed men who look on wonderingly are all—except the negro Mage- Flemish folk of the painter's own day. It is as if Ilogarth had painted the sacred scene in the middle of Bartholomew Fair. But, the faces apart, the picture is singularly beautiful in design and colour, and would suffice in itself to proclaim Brueghel as a great painter. The Trustees have contributed £7,500 and the Fund has raised £4,000 towards the £15,000 which is asked for the picture. We do not doubt that the remainder will be quickly subscribed.