4 MAY 1850, Page 17


If the casket in Pall Mall East is as well -filled us usual, that fact aids, perhaps, a sense of sameness in the general -aspect -of the collection as oompared with the v,bibitionof last year. ',There are striking exceptions ; but iipen,the whole- the leading artists have gape back upon their course to repeat the productions of former years—changed, no doubt in subject, but alike even in that, and identical in manner.; and this is chiefly ob- servable in the highest class. The President, Coley Fieldirig, is and is not an exception : he recurs tobis earlier Manlier ; -for his pictures this season are decidedly less ex- cessive in -smoothness and -prettiness, and recover some of the freshness and vigour that belonged to his younger years : there is no need to make allowance on --ilie score of age for such paintings as that of "Sea- ford Cliffs, Mini -Newhaven, Sussex,"—a wonderful and natural effect of a misty day with the light glaring on the cliffy promontory, so that it 1 is bright yetandistinct like an air-drawn vision rather than a substance. Erma ,is rut, lie he ever ae.Venetian. By the way, why does this ex- cellent iutiet gife 'a Frepelt version of the names of Italian scenes in an ZnyTie4 ealalogne? Inteed, he needs scarcely put the names at all—so familiar are the sent* SO unmistakeable his transcript. Hunt is copious in studies of birds and bird-nests, flowers, dead game, girls reading and contemPlating ; 'and he almost reproduces 'a boy at prayers whom we rememberyearii ago. There is the same vivid force of truth in form and colour : leaf -and - pebble, the crumbling loam, the furry skin, the spiked gross, rosy petal and .firni!fruit, Pale primroses and their crinkled leaves, —aill are theure—niare of last year. Joseph Nash opens -to you spacious richly tight rooms find galleriea peopled with the figures of the past ; InticP4 Jahii,-Jankins is great in girls of the refined rustic order ; 43Alil,ear excelaliimaelf in a girl beatified on "St Valentine's Day Branwlifte adds .te, -the list of his realist landscapes. Charles Bentley is less 'gay and -More forcible than usual,—especially in the view of a wreck ; -Clitterniole his chivalrous and dramatic sketches, slight hut animated and active; Frederick Taylor has marvellous minia- ture -pictures of hawking scenes, and a noble group of dogs on a larger scale ; Nesfieldis subdued to a sober truth ; Topham supplies Irish life ; George Fripp is vigorously real in his country scenes. But Alfred Fripp ! —what melancholy dream has come over this able sketcher of life ? His drawimgshave degenerated to outlines, coloured with the sorriest patchwork of dabs in -watery tint, in a style that looks as if it were based on that of Seymour the caricaturist. Among those who best advance their repute is David Cox : his "Blackberry-gatherers "—a lane scene—is a good speci-

men of his roughly forcible, truth-telling style, not the less forcible for being less crude.* But the painter who challenges most attention this jonr is John F. Lewis ; who shows you the interior of a "Nhareem." The master of the hareem is seated on his divan; a favourite, insolent in ease and pampered beauty, reclines by his side ; two other girls are at his feet, with a child; a black eunuch is unveiling anewly-imported beauty of a dark complexion, 'whose newer charms the master views with reawakened interest. The group is animated, and dashingly drawn; and a certain sort of power marks the colouring : but a general want of shadow impxuta a flimsi- ness of substance to the whole ; and for want of that deeper foil, the half-tints are in many parts patchy, black, and heavy. The artist that could paint so well lawlessly, could paint far better within law.

* In our last number, bya clerical or we mentioned "David Scott " for "David Car."