This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
The Late Lord Leighton, P.R.A.
Facsimile of the Etching (First State) by Professor Alphonse Legros.
The exhibition of the work of the students, we should have remarked, is divided into four sections; the modelling school, the painting school, the architectural school, and the school of design. Under the spirited direction of Professor Moira, the painting school shows abundant evidence of vitality. The principal features of the exhibit are the large unfinished lunettes, the subjects for which were selected by the students from incidents in connection with their own localities. These are executed as if for the decoration of some public building. One of the most striking, by W. J. Stamps, has for its subject "The Steam Hammer," in which a group of men encased in a weird-looking armour are dragging huge masses of molten metal to the hammer. The effect of glare from the furnace and metal is cleverly expressed, and must have presented many difficulties of colour and values.
Another striking lunette is The Selection of the Emblems of the Houses of York and Lancaster, by Lancelot Crane. The treatment of the white dress of one of the ladies seated in the foreground is especially fine, and the whole effect of the rich scheme of decoration would beautify and brighten the most gloomy public hall. The one objection is perhaps the treatment of the water in the background, which is somewhat harsh and unnatural. The other large lunettes - all worthy of praise - are "Leith, represented by Commerce," by Margaret Jameson; "The Battle of Barnet," by Geo. Kruger; "Presentation of the scroll of fame to the Lord Provost of Edinburgh," by W. Grant Murray; and "The meeting of the Roundheads and Cavaliers at Skipton Castle," by A. R. Smith.
One small lunette, which however, was not exhibited in the larger form, deserves mention - a street procession in present-day costume. A semi-military brass band marching behind little children dressed in white, and the moving crowds of labouring men and women supporting waving banners, is not an easy subject to treat in a decorative manner, but the sketch showed great promise, and doubtless would have proved successful had it been done on the larger scale.
In this room also there was a number of full-sized cartoons in black and white on brown paper intended for the decoration of a chapel. The figure of St. John, by Lancelot Crane, was extremely spirited, yet full of dignity. A number of subjects for the small monthly competitions, which are selected from the Greek and Roman mythology, were well worth studying. Among those who competed were Margaret Jameson, Lancelot Crane, Herbert G. Budd, Edith M. Davey, Thomas Smith, and Amy K. Browning.
The Chalk Studies of the Nude were hardly up to the mark, though there was a notable exception in those by Janet Brennard, which were remarkably strong. An interesting study of the nude, painted in oil-colours, was that of Amy K. Browning, which represented a man lying on a white cloth. We must not forget to mention a particularly clever portrait study of an old man by Arthur Kidd; the face was full of character and treated in a broad and masterly fashion. (To be concluded.)
Works painted in oil become dry, sombre, and heavy in colour, if left long in the dark. To restore them, set them out in the air and sun, and they will speedily recover their pristine brilliancy.