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• without coming on something worth The honors of the Salon are more attention. The large works which oc- with some of the smaller works this cupy the axis of the hall are not the year; notably, perhaps, with M. Alfred best this year. M. Bacqué has a co- Boucher for two works of very differlossal monument to Michaelangelo rep- ent kind, each equally perfect in its resenting him on horseback, in way. One is a female figure, said to broad-brimmed hat, on the top of a be a portrait, wearing a helmet and rock-like eminence, from the sides of clad entirely in such close-fitting tights which grow blocked-out ébauches of as to seem practically nude, buckling some of his own works—Day and Night, on a sword-belt, with the title s'il le and others. This is rather like mak- faut. Nothing could exceed the masing Michaelangelo supply his own mon- tery with which this fine figure is modument. M. Laporte-Blairsy's monu- elled, though the whole thing is somemental fountain to the memory of what of a puzzle. His other work is a Clémence Isaure, “créatrice des jeux beautiful seated and clothed figure, floraux (XVe siècle),” to be erected in a hands clasped round her knees, with public place in Toulouse, is a work the title La-Rêverie; as an example of showing a good deal of piquant and the poetry of sculpture this is no doubt original fancy in the details, but wants the finest thing in the collection. The architectural coherence as a whole. figure is clothed not in what is Another great monument for the same usually called “drapery," but in a city-Aus Gloires de Toulouse, by M. rather short skirt, not too realistically Ducuing, is on a triangular plan, with treated. But it loses nothing of its a lofty stele rising in the centre, at the poetic character by this; and it may base of which
three colossal be observed that in a general way a seated figures, representing "Sculpture seated figure is, in a sculptural sense, and Painting," "Architecture” (a por- better clothed than nudeat all trait figure of Bachelier), and "A Trou. events in the lower portion; it wants badour”; the stele crowned by a figure the clothing to give breadth of surface. of the same Clémence Isaure to whom M. Gustave Michel, one of the most the fountain is dedicated. The archi- able and thoughtful of French sculptors tectural portion of the monument is of the day, exhibits a model on a small very well designed; the defect of the scale of a monument to Beethoven, thing, as a whole, is that the figures which ought to work out into someat the base seem too accidentally placed thing fine on a larger scale. It is a and not sufficiently connected with the composition in a generally pyramidal architectural centre. Across the top form, the lower part occupied by symend of the hall extends M. Bouchard's bolical figures, not representing indiimmense group of six great oxen yoked vidually any of Beethoven's composiin pairs and drawing a very rustic-look- tions—the sculptor carefully avoided ing plough, which appeared here in that as “discutable”—but symbolizing plaster some years ago under the same the passions, the griefs, the struggles, title, Le Défrichement, and is now trans- which lay at the basis of his works; lated into bronze. This is a work of the work culminating in a group, above great power in its way, a kind of sculp- the composer's figure (which appears taral glorification of French agricul- at half-length in the upper portion of tural labor; but where is such a thing the composition), representing the joy to be placed ? It seems too large to of life. I should like to hear that deal with; nothing is said of its des- the sculptor had a commission to carry tination.
this out on a large scale; it is a mon
ument with an idea in it, and there is a the huge relief composition, on tumultuous character in its lines which curved plan, a commission from the suits its great subject.
State to M. Daillion, entitled Aux M. Jean-Boucher (with a hyphen, Morts! Auw Exilés! (2 Décembre 1851). please, to distinguish him from Al- On the face of the work are the figures fred Boucher) has taken for his prin- of those killed or exiled in connection cipal work a great historic subject, with the Coup d'état, a nude Victor Réunion de la Bretagne à la France, Hugo standing out conspicuous on the which is symbolized by a collection of right; on the top is the mailed figure of figures in a semicircular alcove under France, with a broken sword, trying to a semi-dome--figures "in their coats, keep off the beak of the Imperial their hosen, their hats, and their other Eagle. So the memory of Badinguet garments," which are rather too realis- has come to this! "The evil that men tic for the purposes of sculpture; he is do lives after them"; but one might add just saved by the “great laps and folds the context “The good is oft interred of sculptor's work” in the sumptuous with their bones." It seems rather un. mantle of "La Bretagne." This is grateful; France made much of him at probably a State commission; the art- one time, and would still consecrate ist, who has produced some of the most his memory, if her own cry of "à Berpoetic works in sculpture of the pres- lin" had led to a satisfactory result. ent day (notably Antique et Moderne), A finer piece of political symbolism is would hardly have chosen it of his own to be seen in M. Marx's Le Joug de la accord. The State is somewhat anx- Victoire, also a State commission; a ious to make use of sculpture to im- figure of Victory, with one knee on a press its own ideas upon the public. shield beneath which two men Family life is to be encouraged, so the crouched, bent double like the souls State purchases M. Bigonet's group in the tenth book of the Purgatorio Premier Pas, a peasant mother encour- who bore heavy stones on their backs: aging her infant to walk: Millet in the
E qual più pazienza avea negli atti round, one may say. With a similar
Piangendo parea dicer: Più non posso. aim it purchases M. Hugues's group, Le Poème de la Terre: l'enfant, le soldat, le That is a moral we may all take to vieillard récompensé de son labeur. Here heart; and it is expressed in fine sculpis the whole theory of virtuous repub
tural form. lican life in a nutshell; the mother and Leaving these moralities and turning infant on one side of the base of a to works that are purely artistic in pyramidal composition; on the other their intent, one may note that M. side the young soldier, rifle and all, Mercié's chief contribution is an heprepared to defend his country; at the roic-size bronze figure of Columbia for apex of the pyramid the old man, to some monument in America; he has whom some nude agrarian nymphs of- done better things, but the head and fer up the fruits of the earth, the rec- the action are fine, as they could ompense of his toil. M. Hughes is a hardly fail to be in his hands. Inspirafine sculptor, who has done some nota- tion and Harmonie, by M. Convers, are ble works-no one who saw it will ever two fine half-recumbent figures formforget La Muse de la Source; but he has ing part of a decoration for the courtmade a mistake here in mixing up real. yard of the National Conservatoire of istic with nude allegorical figures in Music: they take opposite sides of the the same group. But the most porten- base of a decorative column. “In. tous sign of the times in sculpture is spiration,” gazing straight before her, is a noble figure answering to the ti- nificance is given to it by the couplet tle; "Harmonie” he has endeavored to engraved beneath it: symbolize by making her half turn her
Et devant l'océan l'enfant tremble et head to listen to some birds, which, as
frémit, a musician once complained, "sing so
Et devant l'Infini l'humanité recule. horribly out of tune," and certainly "the music of nature" is an idea rather One example among many of the wish passé now; it might bave done for Her- of French sculptors to attach some bert Spencer, but we know that music poetic meaning to what might otherno more arose out of natural sounds wise be regarded as a mere piece of than Gothic vaulting out of the imita- modelling. tion of trees. M. Hippolyte Lefebvre, It is not worth while to pass the usually the patron of realistic sculpture, wicket to look at the sculpture in the exhibits a spirited fronton for the the New Salon: "that way madness lies"; atre of Lille, symbolizing Apollo; it will it is a sort of sculptural Golgotha, look better when it has the boundary where one may see legs, arms, and lines of the pediments to control it. heads as separate exhibits. Let us go up M. Charpentier's Fleurs qu'il aimait is the stairs to No. 1 Gallery, and see what a very graceful relief figure of a nude the painters have to show us. There girl reaching up to kiss a cluster of are two large decorative paintings in
M. Villeneuve exhibits a half- this room; one is M. J. P. Laurens's size model of a monument to Rabelais Première Séance solennelle des Jeux for the town of Montpellier, a semi- floraur (3 Mai 1324), a subject which architectural erection, with heads of seems rather prominent this year; we Pantagruel and Gargantua worked into have already seen the great fountain it, and a gowned figure in front repre- downstairs in commemoration of the senting the Faculté de Médecine study- event (which, by the way is there ing Rabelais' translation of the aphor- noted as "XV century"). M. Laurens's isms of Hippocrates; and M. Corneille picture shows rows of spectators seated Theunissen exhibits the base of a mon. beneath a mass of trees outside the umental stele to Jules Breton, with one city walls, listening to some declamaof Breton's own peasant figures seated tion from a personage on a platform in by it. M. Desca's full-length figure of the foreground; it is painted with a Berlioz is too quiet and contemplative dry facture which suggests the idea for Berlioz, who was nothing if not a that it is intended for tapestry, though fighter; this hardly gives one an idea not quite decorative enough in compoof the composer who stamped his feet sition for that method. The other at the Conservatoire orchestra- work referred to is M. Gorguet's huge "Faster! faster! This is a Saltarello!" ceiling for a Salle des Mariages, of to the scandal of the respectable Habe- which neither the title (“'Prairial") nor neck. As to the number of single fig- the treatment is very intelligible, but ures that are simply charming, any which is totally unsuited for a ceilone of which would arrest attention at ing, in that it is a vertical or pyramidal the Academy, it would be impossible composition, as if designed for an upto name half of them. One little in- right position; a ceiling painting should cident may be quoted as characteristic; always be an all-round composition, not Mlle. Bois exhibits a pretty nude child one with a base and an apex. Some figure, Petite Baigneuse, supposed to be French painters understand this very standing before the sea, but she is not well, and have given fine examples of content to leave it at that; a new sig- it; this one, quâ ceiling painting. is a
mistake. The only two other things blown drapery covers her eyes; there of much interest in the large room are is a fine energy and "go" about it. M. Didier-Pouget's two landscapes; Mlle. Rondenay brings us to the other rather too scenic, but with his usual extreme, the anti-poetical, of nude extraordinary power of effect in the painting, in her Baigneuses, somewhat foregrounds. The English public are similar to that which was bought by very fond of realism in landscape; one the Government last year; she is no would like to see one of Didier-Pouget's doubt a very powerful plein-air painter landscapes at the Academy-it would of the figure, but she tends to get create a sensation, at all events, in coarse, not only in execution but in that respect.
another sense; in London the picture There is a much larger proportion would hardly be thought decent, and it of comparatively uninteresting work is certainly not beautiful. Quite above among the pictures than among the all these is M. Lavergne's Le Paradis sculpture; still, one can hunt up plenty perdu; Adam and Eve, life-sized and of fine things out of the acreage of can. painted in a very broad style of execu
M. Paul Chabas repeats a mo- tion, seated in the foreground of a tive he has used once or twice before, melancholy twilight landscape. The a young girl standing in shallow water, remarkable quality in this is the fine the centre incident in a large canvas; sense of unity of composition in the in this one, Matinée de septembre, he lines of the figures and the landscape, has aimed at a bright effect in the all of which fall together as one whole: whole; the girl with her blonde head it is in the true sense a picture, not a must nevertheless show darker than mere representation. the background, so the lake and the Among what may be called the submountains are all kept in a shimmering ject pictures of the year M. Debatsilver light. With the various nudes Ponsan, who last year symbolized of which “après le bain" is the common France as a white horse throwing over denominator we need not trouble our- Napoléon, is again dealing with horses, selves; but there are nude paintings but this time they are two material which rise above the level of “ces ma- cavalry horses held by an orderly dra. chines-là,” either by sheer splendor of goon in the foreground while the offiexecution, as in M, Guay's Nu, or by cer uses his fieldglass; Ceux qui veillent their decorative effect, as in M. Moulin's is the title. M. Debat-Ponsan is allong low picture Plein air: femme nue, ways either patriotic or moral in his where the figure lies at length on a pictures, but it is always good paintpurple mantle, with a background of ing. M. Tattegrain, too, is a versatile foliage and the gleam of an evening incident painter who seems able to han. sky through the leaves. M. Aimé dle every kind of subject with effect; Morot is rather below himself in his this time it is a powerfully painted small picture Ephémère printemps, rocky coast scene, which gets its title where a nude lady with her back to Sauveteurs d'épaves (in other words, the spectator studies her figure in the "wreckers") from the two unkempt looking glass: a piece of trickery un- wolfish figures who nearly tumble over worthy of so fine a painter. M. Saint- each other down the foreground path pierre brings the nude into the region in their hurry to hook in flotsam and of allegory with his figure of Fortune jetsam on the beach. He has done tiptoe her wheel among
the more interesting pictures, but these clouds, showering coinage from two figures are unpleasantly real. cornucopia, while a lappet of wind. Mme. Demont-Breton, who disap
pointed us last year, is more like her- fully driven home both in novel and self again with the figure of the old drama, and one does not see why peasant woman, L'Aïeule, looking lov- painting may not be occasionally ingly on her sleeping grandson; but I pressed into the same service. Though like her better at the seaside than the French are so essentially artists, inland. M. Henri Martin has what there are always some moral pictures may be called a decorative painting in in the Salon, some very good ones; M. his pointilliste style, Dévideuses, two Geoffroy's, for instance, A l'hospioe des girls sitting on opposite ends of a rail, enfants assistés : l'abandon d'un enfant: a with a landscape behind them: a rather tragedy in humble life powerfully told; trivial subject to come from M. Mar- and another rather amusing example is tin. M. Roganeau has come rather M. Steck's Le soir au bord du Legué, a near making a great picture in his decorative picture for the Salle des large evening landscape Le Soir à la Mariages at Saint-Brieuc. Here we Rivière, with figures of women filling have the happy result of marriage: the their waterpots out of the stream (a family group of the artisan, the artimost unhygienic proceeding) and mov- san's wife, and their child, all enjoying away with them; the figures are ing a holiday on the heights above the not quite interesting enough, but there river. Thus does a paternal Republic is a large, calm serenity about the encourage its citizens with the spectawhole which is impressive. M. Joseph cle of the joys of family life. Among Bail, in La Lectrice, has forsaken that other points in the Salon are M. characterless type of his figures which Georges Leroux's painting of an evenLady Bilderby approved of, and paints ing dinner under the loggia of the Villa a young and old lady of strongly dif- Medici, with the heavy masses of trees ferentiated type; the accessories are dark against the twilight sky (the figpainted with his usual power of execu- ures are rather commonplace); the odd tion, but the work is more frankly idea of Mlle. Bonnier of a triptych of genre than has been usual with him. vêtements feminins : matin; après-midi;
Among pictures which have some soir-garments et praeterea nihil (a special point of interest is M. Martens's lady to whom I mentioned this experiment, in Rayon de Soleil, in pro- seemed exceedingly interested in the ducing an interior effect of light and idea); and M. Mercié's portrait of a color, with a seated nude figure, in an pretty child under the title La Puce, ultra-pointilliste method of execution; with a flea delicately painted on the one would not like to see all pictures frill of her dress—a rather unpleasing painted that way, but this one is very joke for a great artist to indulge in. clever and effective. M. Montchablon
There are a great many fine porhas painted a ghastly picture of the traits, among which M. Humbert's rowing-deck of a galley, La Chiourme, Portrait de Malle. N. that terrible tragedy of human beings haps the finest example of perfectly reduced to machines which so stained balanced style in painting in the whole the naval history of Rome and of Re- Salon; some of the best French pornaissance Italy. This, one may say, trait-painters over-accentuate the cosis one of the pictures painted to point tume in their portraits of ladies, so a moral, or to make us realize some- that it becomes a picture of the lady's thing that once happened; which is not dress rather than of herself; M. Humthe real business of art, of course, nor þert never makes this mistake, he of novel-writing, nor of drama. Never- knows exactly where to stop. M. theless moral lessons have been power- Lauth has an expressive portrait of