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The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, June 1928

The Art Critic

The Art Critic

The first annual exhibition of the Victoria College Art Club is now being held. We should advise no student to miss this interesting display, which merits more than a cursory glance. Some of the most eminent people connected with the College are represented. Proceeds are to be devoted to the fund for re-building the students' quarters.

Among the sketches we feel impelled to mention several of outstanding merit. 'The Amateur Adonis" of Mr. Pr—stl—y is worthy of mention, though it is somewhat too much in the Oxford manner, which we fear is foreign to this experienced artist. Accent is all-important in this case, and needs much modification. We hope to see considerable improvement ere long.

There is a full length portrait of "A Scottish Chieftain" in complete Highland garb, as painted by the head of the McK—nz—e Clan. The picture is typically broad in treatment with racy touches.

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The "Death of Caesar" by Mr. John R—nk—n, a Brown study, is in the Ciceronian style, whose classic polish and restraint is to be contrasted with the untrammelled vivacity of his French colleague, M. B—dw—1—n, whose breezy vigour has a strong popular appeal.

"Feeding the Flocks," a pleasing little study of the cares of a Brook and its parent stream in tending and feeding the sheep on the rich pastures, has called forth much encouraging commendation. We hope to see more work from the same source.

The Musical Society is well represented by "A Wandering Minstrel I" (apparently in the Major Keys). We should like to hear of more of their work.

The modern school is represented by Mlle. Shelas Marechal, who deserves commendation, if only for her tireless efforts after originality, undaunted by previous rebuffs. She obtains, however, neither the imaginations of Futurism nor the sincerity of Realism.

The "Portrait of Sir Charles," by G. E. N—ch—lls is an interesting caricature of a leader of men, painted with a free hand and a flowing style.

A touching little vignette after Greuze, "Innosence," is an appealing study. In Mlle. Leonie the Romantic school has a gifted exponent, though her work lacks the maximum appeal, by reason of its somewhat mathematical exactitude and calculation.

Executive ability is shown in "Paul's Epistle to the Profesians," depicting the citizen of no mean city a champion of the wily scholar before the "Council of Florance. Determination of Line is manifest.

"Do or(r) Die," the study of a social climber, is an unusually daring depiction of modern life. We cannot fail to see the social service rendered by such studies, but to the discriminating eye this sketch shows crudeness of finish and technique.

Another in the same vein is "Porirua Revisited," by M—ck M—ll—r, who has undoubtedly contributed some excellent work, which enhances the reputation of the College. There is perhaps too strong a bias towards reform.

The ambitious portrait of "Monna Zeisler" is creating considerable sensa-tion. It displays unusual technique, but lacks the mystery and glamour that surround da Vinci's interpretation, though it has its appeal to certain types.

In imitation of the "Laughing Cavalier." is a bold presentation of the modern Knight by F(rancis) P(rendeville), a master of the historical method, an imposing specimen of this artist's style. The eyes have that searching power of following the spectator—a particularly notable feature that shows the consummate artistry of an experienced hand.

Even advertising art is represented here. It is indeed remarkable condescension on the part of Sir John (Platts) Millais, (famous for his 'Bubbles"), but nevertheless he has distinguished himself in his study 'Every Picture Tells a Story." It is a winning, if somewhat highly coloured, exposition.

In a word, the whole exhibition is highly creditable even to so distinguished a body as that which, we are assured, forms the very apex of civilisation, to wit, Victoria College.