31 MARCH 1855, Page 19


An exhibition of "Water-colour Drawings and Pictures by amateur artists, and art-contributions, in aid of the fund for the relief of the widows and orphans of British officers engaged in the war with Russia" —a class for whom, as the catalogue points out, "no provision is made by any existing association "—has been in course of organization fig some weeks at No. 121 Pall Mall; and, after opening on Saturday last to private view, it has received daily throngs of visitors during the week. The effort is,decidedly succeasful, both as to the public interest excited and the number of contributions sent ; of which the catalogue, though confessedly incomplete, enumerates upwards of seven hundred. The profits of exhibition and of sale go to the fund.

_In each a gallery, the titles Royal Highness, Lord, Lady, Marchioness, or Honourable, vaunt for more than nature, imagination, -design, or art. Still, there is a fair leavening of good, creditable, and passable works; the body of our fashionable amateurs, as theist° annual Amateur Exhi- bitions proved, being by no means deficient in capacity. The rumba- butions which excite most notice are those of the Queen's childreivaTe of whom have exerted their faculty of drawing : the Duchess of Glou- cester also is .a prolific stabibiter. The former are ,to be sold hy tender, and inevitably command fancy prices. For the Princess. Royal's water- colour design, "The Battle-field," we .understand that 290i. haa been already-bid; jn addition to which, it is to be forthwith ptiblished,in 0/T0- qm-lithography. It represents a woman weeping over a deact.grenadier, and is-a- production a very respectable pretensions :--but, ist4000,-aheau is no reason why Mr. Edward Corbould's active supervision should not turn out a drawing by the Princess Royal in as presentable a state al if it had emanated from Miss Smith or Master Jones. Two works of a really high class of art stand out from the mass. Mr. Arthur Hughes, who happens to be an artist and not an amateur, sends an oil sketch of the return of a soldier to his wife and child,-truly a lovely work. The composition, which bears some resemblance to that of Millais's "Order of Release," is exquisitely pure and complete, the sentiment touching, and the colouring and handling, all in broad tranquil masses, subtilly carried to the exact point of right completion for a sketch which is to satisfy without minute detail. It is the most beautiful thing we have seen from Mr. Hughes's hand. The second work to which we alluded is contributed by "A Lady of Title," who, though anonymous in the catalogue, will be readily recognized by many as the most powerful and intense of ama- teurs. This is a water-colour of " The Disciples Sleeping in the Garden," -solemn in the brooding harmony of its colour, which glows with the study of Giorgione or Palma, and altogether replete with the poetic spirit. Other contributions by the lady in question bear testimony to the same gifts. We may also mention some very sweet studies of children, printed in the anastatie method from sketches by the Honourable Mrs. Maurice Drummond ; a picture by Mr. W. Cave Thomas; one of a group of angels hung too high for accurate examination, but seemingly an ori- ginal painting of the early Italian art; pen-and-ink sketches of birds, rabbits, &c., by Mr. Gillett; bas-reliefs by Mr. Munro ; and works by the Honourable Mrs. Boyle, Mr. Douglas, R.S.A., Miss F. Cust, Mr. Elam', and the Reverend J. L. Petit. Photographs, works in statuary porcelain, books of sea-weeds, amateur published volumes, and the like, swell the collection.