sábado, 9 de abril de 2011

90. AN ARMENIAN LADY : CAIRO. (J. F. Lewis*)

It is very instructive to pass immediately from Maclise's work to this. Both propose the complete rendering of details: but with Maclise all is inherently wrong ; here everything is exquisitely, ineffably right. I say ineffably for no words are strong enough to express the admirable skill and tenderness of pencilling and perception shown in this picture. It is one of the first that I have seen by this master in oil, and I am rejoiced to find it quite equal in precision and purity to his best work in water-colour, while it is in a safer medium. The delicacy of the drawing of the palm in the distance, of the undulating perspective of the zigzags on the dress, and of the deep and fanciful local colouring of the vase, are all equally admirable. The face infinitely laboured fails slightly. The flesh tint is too blue a fault into which the master has lately fallen from trying to reach impossible delicacy. It is only to be regretted that this costly labour should be spent on a subject devoid of interest.

2 [John Frederick Lewis (1805-1876) was elected A.R.A. in 1859 and R.A. in 1865. Two characteristic pictures by him are in the Tate Gallery, Nos. 1405 and 1688; and two drawings are reproduced in Vol. XII. pp. 362, 364. For other references to him see those passages, and the note at Vol. III. p.120. See also below, pp. 52, 73, 94, 130, 159, 218.]

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